Officials hold parleys with representatives of Anjuman Tajiran-e-Chirm

Community leaders shown the ban order issued by the A.P. State Human Rights Commission

HYDERABAD: Woken up from its slumber by the A.P. State Human Rights Commission (APSHRC) on the illegal skin trade at Bholakpur, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has asked the community dealing in them to shift or face action.

Senior municipal corporation officials including Special Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu held parleys with representatives of Anjuman Tajiran-e-Chirm, the organisation representing the community on Sunday, and showed them the ban order issued by SHRC.

Officials did not mince words in stating that they have to follow the Commission’s orders and offered to provide all the necessary facilities to those ready to relocate to abattoir at Chengicherla.

The Anjuman was given time till Wednesday to come up with any alternative plan while the SHRC has given time till June 2 for compliance of its ban order of skin trade within GHMC.

“We are discussing among ourselves on the next course of action,” said an Anjuman representative. Skin trade, in the meantime, continues and municipal officials dismissed of any raids being conducted. “There will be trouble if we swoop down and stop all activities in one go. We are trying to sensitise them about the gravity of the situation as it is a livelihood issue for several people,” said an official.

Each day close to 2,000 skins are brought here from the abattoir and moved to Bholakpur for basic processing to prevent decomposition and on Sunday’s it could go up to 5,000.

While municipal officials have escaped censure in the entire water contamination incident, the fact is, for years skin trade has been going on without any licence or permission.

No licences

Same goes for the plastic and iron scrap material trading in the area.

“All the trades functioning have no licence whatsoever though chances of such trades polluting the water sources cannot be discounted,” confessed an official.

However, municipal officials have been smugly pointing out that there have been no major pollution issues.

Closure of tanneries, illegal slaughter houses and bone factories are cited proactive actions conveniently forgetting that only court orders forced Municipal Corporation to act.

“Complaints about illegal skin trade, scrap, etc., are not new yet we have failed to come out with a comprehensive plan to tackle them even in terms of rehabilitation,” accepted an official.

Yet, senior municipal officials washed off their hands once the disease broke leaving HMWSSB high and dry though the latter’s functioning was also being monitored till last week from GHMC.