WITH BAKRI-EID a week away, already 1.10 lakh goats and sheep have been brought for slaughter to the Deonar abattoir from parts of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. After witnessing flooding twice in 2017 that led to infection and deaths of animals in the abattoir, the administration has taken a slew of measures to ensure that Bakri-Eid is observed without any hindrance this year.
In August 2017, 42 goats had died after heavy rains lashed the city leading to flooding in the low-lying region of Deonar. This year, the grazing area for cattle, covering 24 acres, has been raised by a foot. “Levelling was done ahead of the monsoon. We knew that this year, Eid would coincide with the rainy season, and had to be prepared,” an official from the abattoir said.
A disaster management plan has also been mapped for the 64-acre abattoir. Five assembly points have been created in case heavy rains flood parts of the abattoir. “Animals can be taken to safety in these assembly points. They are all at a raised platform to keep them dry,” said Dr Yogesh Shete, general manager at the abattoir.
In addition, a control room has been created to monitor the vast area during emergency situations through 88 CCTV cameras. Also, four hotlines have been linked with M-East ward (Govandi) for emergency communication. The Mumbai police has set up 15 watch towers and 300 security guards have been stationed at the abattoir.
The civic authorities have handed 65 walkie-talkies to sanitation workers, guards and control room officials to coordinate. On Tuesday, the abattoir had recorded about 50,000 visitors, both traders and customers. In the days leading to the festival, the crowd increases to 2.5 lakh visitors per day. Over 40,000 sheds have been erected for dealers to keep their livestock at the abattoir.
This year, 50 per cent of the sheep and goats have been brought from Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. “Some have also come from Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh,” said an official. With Mumbai receiving rainfall in short spells recently, records so far show goats and sheep have not suffered any illness or death.
Mohammed Ali Qureshi, president of Mumbai Suburban Beef Dealers Association, said that a week before Eid, the rates of mutton have started soaring. “Six months ago, mutton was being sold at Rs 440 per kg, now it is Rs 480 per kg. The rates get higher as Eid approaches, as there is shortage of goats. Everyone wants to secure their goat for Bakri Eid.”