Ahead of Eid-ul-Adha: No alternative to Deonar market on Bakrid, traders upset as heavy rain adds to misery

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THOUSANDS OF traders from Maharashtra and other states dealing in livestock are upset with the Maharashtra government, and claimed that it had “ignored and failed” to address their issues related to ritual sacrifice of livestock, such as goats and water buffaloes, despite raising them a month ago. Eid-ul-Adha will be observed on Wednesday.

Mumbai’s guardian minister Aslam Shaikh, however, said the state government had taken all requisite steps, and that traders as well as locals would not face any hurdle in buying and selling sacrificial animals this year.

Shahnawaz Thanawala, president of Bombay Mutton Dealers Association, said, “Unlike last year, the state government this year clarified 15 days ago that they will not allow any trader to enter Deonar market for the sale of livestock. About 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh animals can be brought here. Though this clarification helped us, we had requested the Deonar market to be opened with SOP in place, and limiting the number of animals brought here so that pandemic protocols are followed, but they ignored it. Further, for a month we have been asking them to provide us small and temporary markets across Mumbai for the sale of livestock, so that we don’t have to pay from our own pocket and Covid-19 rules can be monitored.”

“At Deonar market, we were paying Rs 100 to keep a single goat for a few days. Now, we have to pay several hundred rupees for each goat to accommodate them in private halls, godowns, compounds etc. Also, the purchasing power has gone down due to the pandemic. Hence, there is little or no profit margin and traders are facing economic losses. In absence of these measures, we have to pay extra to accommodate the animals for days and there will be crowding at these markets as the government will not monitor these places,” said Aslam Qureshi, president of All India Sheep and Goats Breeders and Dealers Association. Traders are also facing issues to keep their goats safe amid heavy rainfall. “Due to heavy rain, it becomes difficult to keep goats safe and proper accommodation is needed. Goats fear rain and it affects their health too. Hence, they cannot be kept in open places,” Thanawala said. All India Jamiatul Quresh has approached the HC with a PIL seeking to allow slaughter of water buffaloes at Deonar abattoir.