CCB approves sacrificial animal markets despite ban

Residents, traders of Murree Road demand withdrawal of decision

Qasier Shirazi May 21, 2024


The approval of sacrificial animal markets along the Murree Road – one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city – by the Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB), has drawn ire from the traders and citizens who fear traffic logjams, uncontrolled garbage and security lapses. The approval came despite the Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner has banned the sale and purchase of sacrificial animals within the city limits.

The CCB will float a tender for the largest cattle market on June 3. The cattle market will last from June 7 to June 20 until midnight on the third day of Eidul Azha. Up to 300% increase in traffic is expected on Murree Road due to heavy trailers, large trucks, tractor-trolleys and loaders filled with sacrificial animals. The cattle market will stretch from Katchery Chowk to Liaquat Bagh Chowk, making it difficult for citizens and ambulances to pass through.

Residents and traders of Murree Road have raised an alarm over the setting up of the cattle market, which is located near the Jamaat-e-Islami District Office in the Maududi Building and a girls' technical school. The entry fee for large sacrificial animals like camels, cows, and bulls is Rs3,000, while for smaller animals like goats, sheep, and lambs is Rs2,000.

Another market is being set up in the densely populated Gulistan Colony within a sensitive military area in Chaklala Cantt. The movement of sacrificial animals will disrupt traffic flow in the area.

Local traders Asghar Mahmood and Ashir Ali have demanded the immediate withdrawal of the decision to set up the sacrificial animal markets on Murree Road, citing risks of accidents and quarrels. They have urged the Station Commander to withdraw the decision and relocate the markets outside the city to avoid public protests.

For the first time, official permission has been granted to set up the cattle market near Murree Road in Rawalpindi. Officials from the Chaklala Cantt Board's municipal department argue that markets inside the areas of the city will offer affordable animals and allow citizens to walk their purchases home, with minimal transportation costs.

They have assured continuous cleaning in shifts and additional traffic police duties, permitting trucks to bring animals from midnight to 6am. The twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad will host a record 12 cattle markets for Eidul Azha this year.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2024.


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