Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit convened a high-level meeting with her Cabinet colleague Haroon Yusuf, Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta, Municipal Commissioner K. S. Mehra and Police Commissioner Y. S. Dadwal on Tuesday to discuss the issue of closure of the Idgah slaughter house in the Capital by October 21 and transfer of all the people and facilities connected with it to the new slaughter house that has come up at Ghazipur.

Since the Idgah slaughter house is to be closed by October 21 as per Supreme Court orders, it was decided at the meeting that within the next two days a decision be taken on approaching the apex court seeking extension of this deadline to Id-ul-Zuha or Bakr-Id on November 28.

The Municipal Commissioner claimed that the infrastructure was in place at Ghazipur and it was ready for handling 10,000 goats per day. However, the traders of Idgah slaughter house are opposing the government move to relocate them.

The Police Commissioner’s presence at the meeting was crucial because due to resistance from those against the shifting of the slaughter house at Idgah it is feared that police help might become necessary.

Industries Minister Haroon Yusuf, who is also the MLA from Ballimaran, was asked to hold discussions with representatives of various meat merchants for ironing out differences over relocating to a new facility.

When contacted, Mr. Yusuf said there were some concerns that had been aired by the meat merchants and efforts would be made to address them. The merchants want that some facility be provided for handling the remaining animal parts called “khadke” in local parlance. Likewise, there is a strong feeling that many of the labourers engaged in the trade would be rendered unemployed.

“We will try to ensure that they are all gainfully employed in related trades,” he said.

The Minister assured that he would try to see that the meat traders and their workers are satisfied with the transfer of facilities. “We will try to resolve all the issues as we do not want illegal slaughtering to increase,” he added.

Earlier, Delhi Slaughter House Workers’ Welfare Association president Mohammad Furqan Quraishi had said there were several issues which need to be addressed. He said the Ghazipur slaughter house had still not got a No Objection Certificate from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and a number of facilities that had been made mandatory by the Court had still not been provided.

Mr. Quraishi had claimed that at Ghazipur proper sanitation arrangements were not in place and the green belt that should have been provided between the garbage dump and the slaughter house had still not been developed.

The traders are claiming that shifting to the new location would also render many workers unemployed, for while about 2,000 people are employed at Idgah slaughter house only about 150 would be able to work at Ghazipur.

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