Updated: April 5, 2022 1:35:00 am
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor has sought “closure of meat shops during the nine-day period of the Navratri festival extending from April 2 to April 11”.
Officials in the South MCD, however, said such a request will need executive approval from the commissioner’s office in the form of an “official order”.
Director, Press and Information, South MCD, Amit Kumar said: “The letter has not come to our knowledge through official channels. Once it is sent officially, we can tell whether it will be implemented or not.”
Another senior official said, “Such orders cannot be implemented immediately as there are no such policy provisions. It is also not advisable as such a blanket ban leads to harassment of traders by lower-rung officials.”
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In a letter to the South MCD commissioner dated April 4, Mayor Mukesh Suryan wrote: “I want to draw attention to the fact that the present Navratri festival is being celebrated all over the country from April 2 to April 11. During the auspicious period of Navratri, devotees of goddess Durga observe fast for nine days with a strict vegetarian diet and abstaining from the use of non-vegetarian food items, alcohol and also certain spices. The area in the city is also coloured in consonance with the festival.”
Suryan further wrote: “During Navratri days, people visit temples to pay respect to the goddess and to seek blessings for themselves and their families. People forego even the use of onion and garlic, and the sight of meat being sold in open or near temples makes them uncomfortable. Their religious beliefs and sentiments are also affected when they come across meat shops or when they have to bear the foul smell of meat on their way to offer daily prayers to the goddess. Moreover, some meat shops dump waste in the gutter or beside the road, which stray dogs feed on. It is not only unhygienic but an appalling sight for passersby.”
“Such events can be restricted if meat shops are closed during the period of Navratri in the area under the jurisdiction of South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the closing of meat shops is also necessary to maintain the cleanliness in and around the temples,” the letter added.
“Keeping in view the sentiments and feelings of the general public, necessary directions may be issued to the officers concerned to take necessary action for the closure of meat shops during the nine-day period of Navratri festival extending from April 2 to April 11 2022,” he wrote.
Asked about those who don’t observe the festival, Suryan said they should respect the sentiments of others.
Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti did not respond to calls seeking a comment.
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