New Delhi: The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has decided to close down meat shops in the city every Tuesday, as the law governing them prescribes that they be closed once a week, The Times of India reported.
During the MCG House meeting with city councillors on Thursday, decisions were also made to increase the license fee for meat shops from the current Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000, and hike the penalty on unauthorised butchers from the existing Rs 500 to Rs 5,000.
The matter regarding the closure of meat shops once a week was first brought up for discussion by Ashwani Sharma, councillor of Ward 19. During the discussion, members unanimously held the view meat shops should not be shut on Sundays as sales are generally high on the weekends.
To this, some of the members suggested that they be shut on Tuesdays. However, MCG commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said there are people who also eat non-vegetarian food on Tuesday, the day when some Hindus refrain from consuming meat due to religious reasons.
Singh said one cannot impose views on when to eat non-vegetarian food, as it is an individual choice. “It is an individual choice to eat non-veg food. So, I think House should think carefully before making a decision for the entire city,” he said.
To this, Subash Singhala, councillor of Ward 18, said there is no question of shutting down butcher shops on Sundays due to peak sales, but insisted that they be shut on Tuesday “respecting Hindu beliefs”.
Concurring with Singhala’s view, Mayor Madhu Azad and other members of the House said meat shops will not be opened on Tuesdays henceforth. “They [those arguing based on Hindu sentiments] are completely right, we are all agreed that meat shops remain closed on Tuesdays,” Azad said.
The House has also decided to close down unauthorised meat shops operating in residential areas.
“Rs 10,000 is a lot, considering it has to be given annually to renew the licence. At the same time, they have also decided to further reduce our business. Members of one community may not consume meat on Tuesdays, but we still get business from other communities, it’s a big loss for us… We will have to follow the rules and manage somehow,” Pritam Bhagat of the Jacobpura Meat Market Association told the Indian Express.