Unable to make its slaughter house at Kondhwa operational ever since it was modernised in 2008, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is now planning to restart the facility. But the only problem is that the machines have remain unused for seven long years and now a review is being undertaken to find out if they can be used, failing which there is likely to be another delay to the entire project.
The facility, developed with funds from the Union government, has separate slaughter houses for sheep and goat, and large animals. In January, the civic administration gave options to the general body to either allow appointment of staff for running the facility or allow a private agency to operate it. The elected representatives approved the appointment of staff for the purpose and a spending of Rs 40 lakh from civic funds for its operations while putting the condition that it would only provide benefit to meat traders within the city limits.
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Now, the PMC has asked an expert agency to make the slaughter house operational and train manpower deputed by the civic body for its operation along with carrying out maintenance of the facility for one year after making it operational.
“The mechanical slaughterhouse has remained unused since 2008. So, it is necessary to undertake a review of the current status of all the installed machines for slaughtering and meat packaging, cold room, electrical connections, mechanical operations and civic work. The PMC will have to undertake rectification before making it operational,” said a civic official.
A two-month training programme for PMC staff for use of machinery will be held, the official said, adding that this would be done by an that has at least 10 years of experience of running a slaughter house.
Politics shut the slaughter house
The PMC had modernised the slaughter house in 2008, but due to lack of manpower and technical knowhow, it decided to outsource its operations to a bidder. However, some organisations, including parties like Shiv Sena, MNS and BJP, protested the appointment of the agency that was selected through a tender process, saying it would use the facility to export meat.
The agency approached the Bombay High Court challenging the PMC’s decision to not allow it to operate the facility. The HC directed the PMC to start the facility on its own or give permission to selected agency to operate it. It also expressed displeasure over the non-use of the facility, saying it was the duty of the municipal corporation to construct and maintain slaughter house. It said the PMC had constructed a modernised slaughter house with public money and it was lying idle.