LUCKNOW: As the indefinite strike by Uttar Pradesh meat traders against state government’s crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses entered day two, a joint delegation of All India Meat Exporters Association and All India Jamaitul Quresh Uttar Pradesh met UP health minister and government spokesman Siddharth Nath Singh here on Tuesday.
The delegation, headed by Sirauddin Qureshi, national president of All India Jamaitul Quresh UP, submitted a memorandum of demands to the health minister urging him to slow down the action against meat traders. "The clampdown has pushed the panic button not only for exporters and big businessmen, but also small vendors and meat sellers,” said Qureshi. He reminded the authorities that a huge chunk of population was getting affected by the move.
“A large number of people are associated with this trade both as consumers and industry stakeholders. While consumers are not getting meat, stakeholders are losing revenue,” he said.
He requested the CM through Singh to take a decision after considering the plight of the traders and the workforce engaged in the industry. Members of the delegation maintained that while they were not opposed to the crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses, the process of their regularisation, renewal of licences and modernisation should be expedited.
The delegation also asked for a single window system to obtain the licences as it was a cumbersome process involving multiple windows. "We have to approach district administration, fire office, electricity department, pollution control board members and many other agencies to obtain a no objection certificate which prolongs the entire process,” said a member of the delegation.
The minister assured them of looking into their problems and reiterated the government’s commitment of finding out a permanent solution to the issues involved without any prejudice. “The delegation has submitted a memorandum to me. I will take it to the chief minister. We will try and settle all the issues safeguarding the interest of meat traders,” said the minister. Singh also promised that he would request Adityanath to meet the delegation members.
“I will be happy if the meat traders end their strike. I will convey their concerns to the CM and get back to them,” said the minister.
Meat traders from Lucknow and Gorakhpur entered the strike last Friday and were later joined by traders from other cities. Protesting against municipal officers who did not renew their licences in the past two years, they alleged that they were being harassed in the guise of a crackdown.
On Monday, the health minister tried to dispel the confusion over the government action saying that those who were following the norms need not worry. “Chicken, fish and egg sellers are not on the target,” Siddharth Nath Singh had said on Monday. However, municipal authorities have decided not to renew the licences of even mutton and chicken sellers till further orders by the state government.