The master plan to modernise Deonar abattoir, one of the biggest slaughter houses in Asia, is likely to get its final nod this week by the civic body’s building and proposal department. Besides setting up new machinery, some of the features of the new plan include increasing the holding capacity by more than 20,000, leveling the sinking land to avoid annual flooding, a 15-metre high watch tower and a prayer room in the slaughterhouse section of the abattoir.
In September last year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had allotted Rs 1,066 crore for the upgradation of the abattoir to bring it to international standards. More than half of the city’s meat is processed at Deonar abattoir, which was constructed in 1971.
According to senior civic officials, the abattoir was facing issues primarily because of poor meat chilling facility and unscientific disposal of animal waste that had prompted the officials to revamp the facility.
Under the master plan, the section of the abattoir where the slaughter of sheep, goats and buffaloes take place would undergo the biggest change.
The slaughtering unit will then function at an increased capacity of handling 6,000 animals per day.
“Without affecting the current slaughter operations, a fully air-conditioned new building of 26,000 sqm will be constructed. We never had a holding pen for animals before they got slaughtered but now, there will be one. Workers currently add to the unhygienic conditions by entering and exiting the slaughterhouse without cleaning themselves. In the new slaughterhouse, this will change as the workers could avail the facilities of canteens, restrooms, beds and even a prayer room,” said a senior civic official, adding that a new slaughterhouse for pigs will also se set up on the west end of the abattoir.
Last month, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) had given permission to only 33 big slaughterhouses in the state with the rest having been shut down mainly for not complying with environmental norms.
In order to process its waste in an “environment-friendly” manner, the Deonar abattoir has set up a 15 MT biomethanation plant that has been operational since March 2017.
“We are using the byproduct of methane to produce electricity. So far, the new plant has produced 100 units of electricity,” said Dr Yogesh Shetye, the general director, Deonar abattoir.
About 5 tonnes of cow dung that has been processed at the plant is being used by the civic body as fertiliser for the city’s gardens. Consultant KK Associates has been appointed to prepare the master plan for modernisation of Deonar abattoir.
The new design includes new animal holding cells with a 4,500 sqm structure being constructed over the existing buffalo shed.
“The new parking area can hold up to 30 heavy vehicles and special ramps are being constructed to bring down the animals from the upper portions of the heavy vehicles,” said an official. The other problem of sinking land levels will be addressed in phases.
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