Updated: March 30, 2017 3:10:40 pm
Shortage of meat supply in Uttar Pradesh after the government’s crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses has hit the Aligarh Muslim University campus. While the students at multiple hostels were earlier served meat with at least one meal every day, the state-wise crackdown on illegal slaughter houses and consequent strike by meat suppliers have caused the university mess to incline towards other options like chicken, fish and vegetables. This may have a direct impact on the student community as it might lead to modifications in the mess fee structure.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Faizul Hasan, president of the AMU Students’ Union, said the menu change may lead to increase in dining fee which is likely to affect those who come from less privileged backgrounds. “There haven’t been any meat dishes for the past 6-7 days. The biggest problem in this is that it may lead to an increase in dining charges. Chicken prices have gone up from Rs. 120 to 220 per kilogram, vegetable prices have also increased. Students from middle and lower-middle classes may suffer due to this,” he claimed.
The Students’ Union also wrote to Vice-Chancellor Zameeruddin Shah asking for a meeting between the 19 Provosts of different Halls and Dean of Students’ Welfare to discuss the issue. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 4.30 pm Thursday. “We are also thinking of writing a letter to the Chief Minister asking him to solve problems of those who have lost their livelihood after the crackdown on slaughterhouses,” Hasan added.
AMU’s Public Relations Officer, Omar Peerzada, spoke to indianexpress.com and listed the issues that may arise in the university due to the shortage of meat supply. “This is a clear case of demand and supply. This will affect a few issues, one of which is price hike. For instance, fish and chicken prices also will go up,” he said. Adding that the university cannot compromise on the quality of food being served to the student, Peerzada listed the alternate arrangements being made by the university to tackle the issue. “We are also opting for items like soyabean, rajma and other things. But it is a challenge for taste buds to adjust to the new menu,” he says. A research scholar, Naeem Showkat, confirmed this by saying, “The university is opting for paneer items as a consolation for not being able to provide meat dishes.”
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Abdul Qadir, a PhD student at the university, questioned the manner in which the state government executed the decision. “If a certain amount of time was allotted during demonetisation move, why so much haste in shutting down illegal abattoirs? Why couldn’t the government give some time to get the licenses issued or renewed?” he questioned.
The state government’s decision to regulate slaughterhouses was taken three days after Yogi Adityanath took oath as chief minister of UP. The BJP-led state government issued orders to divisional commissioners, district magistrates, senior police officers and municipal corporations to inspect slaughterhouses and report to the chief secretary within seven days on the action taken by them.
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