The Chennai Corporation's decision to move mutton traders from the business area close to the construction site of modern abattoir at Perambur has evoked protest from the wholesale meat merchants.

Members of the Chennai Mutton Wholesale Merchants Association, who met the presspersons on Monday, said the civic body has asked them to vacate business area on the grounds of completion of modernisation project worth Rs.48 crore.

R.Anbuvendan, general secretary of Federation of Mutton Merchants Association, said the Corporation has asked the traders to move their business to slaughter houses in Villivakkam or Saidapet by January 17. But, the space would not be enough.

“We told Mayor M.Subramanian about the issue. But, they [Corporation] are insisting that we move from the place. We want the Corporation to provide makeshift shelter near the construction site,” he said.

Chennai Mutton Wholesale Merchants Associations president Y.Basheer Ahmed said at present, the traders paid Rs.3.50 for slaughtering an animal to the civic body. Hind Agro Industries, which is implementing the project, is set to take care of maintenance for two decades. This may result in hike in fee charged from traders and in turn lead to increase in cost of meat.

The members are planning to observe fast on January 18 in support of their demands.

Responding to the complaints, Mayor M.Subramanian said about 80 per cent of the modernisation project has been completed so far. As part of efforts to finish the remaining work in two months, traders were asked to shift their business temporarily.

While additional building awaiting inauguration in Saidapet was offered for the traders, Corporation has agreed to put temporary shelter in Villivakkam.

Denying that there may be fee hike, he said one of the conditions laid to the Hind Agro Industries was to collect the same fee levied by the civic body.

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