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Announce SOP for Eid celebration, relax curbs for Deonar market: Stakeholders to Maharashtra govt

Every year this time, thousands of animals, to be sold and sacrificed for the Eid rituals, are brought to Mumbai by traders. Last year, during the nationwide lockdown, the government had disallowed the sale of animals at Mumbai's Deonar market.

Written by Jayprakash S Naidu | Mumbai |
June 26, 2021 8:02:07 pm
The stakeholders demand Covid-19 restrictions at Deonar market to be relaxed for a few days during the festive period or temporary livestock markets to be allowed in each BMC ward. (Express Photo by Nirmal Harindran/Representational)

A day after the state government tightened its lockdown rules in view of a potential third wave of the pandemic, community leaders and stakeholders sought urgent directives on how the Maharashtra government would allow the Eid-ul-Adha celebration on July 20.

Every year this time, thousands of animals, to be sold and sacrificed for the Eid rituals, are brought to Mumbai by traders. Last year, during the nationwide lockdown, the government had disallowed the sale of animals at Deonar market, Mumbai’s only abattoir and by far, the biggest market for sale of livestock.

It had, however, allowed the sale of animals online. This year, several trucks ferrying animals were stopped before entering the city, which caused deaths of many livestock.

The stakeholders over the past fortnight approached the local MLAs, Maharashtra chiefs of the Congress and the NCP Nana Patole and Jayant Patil respectively, and Guardian Minister for Mumbai suburbs Aslam Shaikh.

The stakeholders were assured that a meeting would be held next week to decide on the issue. A committee of the stakeholders asked the government to issue guidelines by next week or allow them to follow a standard operating procedure (SOP), submitted to the government by them.

The committee said it expects the government to clear their stand on the issue so that they can go ahead and plan their business as well as religious rituals accordingly.

One of the stakeholders Gulrez Qureshi of the All India Jamaitul Quresh said, “We understand that we are in the middle of a pandemic. Hence, we urged the government to clear their stand on the matter. Last year resulted in total chaos and many of us suffered heavy economic losses as the government sat on the issue. This year too it seems they will not take a decision till the last minute. We want a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from the government on the matter as many people’s livelihood is at stake.”

Qureshi added that they would stage a protest if the government did not announce a decision soon.

The stakeholders demand Covid-19 restrictions at Deonar market to be relaxed for a few days during the festive period or temporary livestock markets to be allowed in each BMC ward.

Shanawaz Thanawala, president of the Bombay Mutton Dealers’ Association, said, “Due to stringent rules last year at Deonar market and abattoir, licensed dealers like us suffered. Amid the pandemic, we are worried about our lives too and hence, a detailed SOP has been suggested to the government, where trading can be done at the market while maintaining social distancing and pandemic rules. They can limit the number of livestock to be allowed at the market, decide on the timings and allow small temporary shops in open spaces across the city. If these measures are not taken, we will suffer this year too due to black marketing.”

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