People decry hide warehouses in city

Published: August 25, 2018
Workers pile collected hides of sacrificial animals, while men stand outside an illegal hides warehouse in Rawalpindi. PHOTO/AGENCIES

Workers pile collected hides of sacrificial animals, while men stand outside an illegal hides warehouse in Rawalpindi. PHOTO/AGENCIES

RAWALPINDI: City residents on Friday urged the district administration to relocate the hide warehouses that prop up illegally in the city around Eidul Azha every year.

Traders of hides and tallow hire warehouses in city centre to temporary store their collected merchandise for further sale to people who procure the raw material for the industries.

Each year, Eidul Azha festival brings a bonanza for the leather sector. Besides, industries using animal fat also get an unusual supply of raw material at cheaper rates.

However, this few days of seasonal hide and tallow trade fills the air with a nauseating smell, people of the old city area said.

“We moan on the slow response of municipal authorities in lifting and disposing offal of sacrificed animals, but what to do about the hides and animal waste traders who set up stall along roadsides and then keep the supplies in warehouses for days,” said Aamir Mahmood a resident.

Traders collect hides of scarified animals and store them at different sites in the city areas including Jamia Masjid Road, Pir Choha Chowk, Ratta Amral, Ghaznavi Road and mostly congested areas of the old city.

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These blood stained hides, fat and animal casings besides heads and hooves were a potential threat for outbreak of several diseases including dengue and anthrax.

While animal fat and other highly degradable sacrifice leftovers reach the factory gates within days, the hide traders keep their ware for few months to get a better deal.

Ziarat Khan a resident of Pir Choha said the hides are stored in warehouses for several months which not only pollutes the entire environment but also disrupts smooth flow of traffic. “It is difficult for the people to walk past these warehouses without a mask,” Khan said.

A resident of Jamia Masjid Road, Mohammad Rasheed, complained that as Eid days start during the Hajj month it becomes difficult for families to come out from their homes. The whole area was swarming with seasonal migrant workers who come for daily wages at hide-warehouses, he said.

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“We feel insecure in presence of these outsiders,” Rasheed said. He said the government should relocate the makeshift warehouses from residential areas, expressing the hope that the district administration would take the required steps in this regard.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2018.

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