ALIGARH: Three days after local meat sellers went on a strike, students at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) have complained to the varsity authorities about the "bland" food being served in dining halls as the prices of chicken, vegetables etc have risen.
Faizul Hasan, President of the AMU Students' Union, has written to AMU Vice Chancellor Lt Gen (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah following which University administration has called for a meeting to resolve the issue. In his letter, Hasan has said that an "acute shortage of meat supply" is leading to a broader food crisis since the supply and cost of alternate food items have also started being adversely affected.
He suggested that a centralised purchase system should be put in place to ensure that the entire meat supply is through a registered meat supplier. Hasan told PTI that the vegetarian food presently being served at hostel dining halls catering to more than 20,000 students is "very bland" and students are facing hardship.
The prices of chicken meat and vegetables have risen beyond the budgetary provisions of different dining halls, he added. We support any legal action against illegal slaughtering but it was the responsibility of the state administration and the Aligarh Municipal Corporation, to ensure that only legal slaughtering of animals take place.
Meat merchants in Allahabad are on an indefinite strike to express solidarity with the strike call given in other parts of the state, following the Yogi Adityanath government's crackdown on illegal and mechanised slaughterhouses.
The spokesman of AMU Omar Peerzada said that despite some hardships students including leaders of the union were cooperating in this matter and hoped that a solution would be found. District Magistrate of Aligarh Hrishikesh Bhaskar Yashod, told PTI that he had held a meeting with representatives of all export based meat plants in a bid to channelise a small percentage of their buffalo meat supply to local meat suppliers. He said the exporters had 'in principle' agreed to this proposal.
He said that the Municipal Corporation's slaughterhouse, which was closed for the past three years over objections by the pollution board would reopen within the next few weeks. Asked about attempts by cow vigilantes are to disrupt buffalo meat supply, Bhaskar said the administration is trying to put in place a new system, where export units would officially communicate about the transport mechanism and sources of their suppliers. Once such a system is in place we can assure that no disruption in the animal supply chain would be allowed to take place, he said.
The fallout of the meat merchants' strike is also palpable in the old city where non-vegetarian roadside eateries have downed their shutters. The prices of chicken meat, vegetable and pulses have also gone up, taking these items out of reach of the people belong to the lowest strata. According to Mir Arif, an industrialist in the old city, if a solution to this problem is not found, it could turn into a crisis.