Of false promises and illegal bovine activity

Despite plenty of evidence, no action has been taken against illegal cow markets

Photo Athar Khan/Oonib Azam August 27, 2015
The city’s illegal cow markets remain a nuisance for Karachi’s residents, but the authorities refuse to do more than issue notices. Gulshan-e-Iqbal’s illegal cow market has resulted in an unhygienic environment and traffic problems aplenty. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: As Eidul Azha nears each year, illegal cattle markets crop up across the city for the sale of sacrificial animals, creating traffic gridlocks, in addition to posing environmental and health hazards. Every year, the government makes tall claims of taking action against these markets but only ends up issuing notifications.

This year too, the Sindh Government's additional chief secretary, Mukhtar Hussain Soomro, issued a notification for the complete ban on illegal animal markets across the city. Traditional animal markets will only be permissible in areas such as the Super Highway, Malir 15 at Asoo Goth, the cattle market in Landhi, Rice Godown in Landhi, Hamdard University near Manghopir, Moach Goth in Baldia Town, the cattle market within the limits of the Clifton Cantonment Board and the cattle market permitted by president Karachi cantonment board in the limits of the Karachi Cantonment Board.

According to the notification, setting up cattle markets in areas other than those notified will be prohibited. "This is necessary to avoid traffic congestion, unhygienic conditions and security issues," the notification reads.

Mimicking their previous lack of action, this year it seems that the government is all set to turn a blind eye towards the illegal markets ready to be set up in every nook and cranny of the city.

The cattle market set up in Gulshan-e-Iqbal's blocks nine and 19, which houses more than 20,000 sacrificial animals, supplies them to the illegal cattle markets across the city every year before Eidul Azha. Despite, The Express Tribune's story on the issue, 'Problems in the East: cow dung, encroachments and political mafias', published on August 8,  no action has been taken by the authorities.

The illegal cattle farm is being run on the land of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) and K-Electric.

One of the alleged encroachers of the area, Shabbir told The Express Tribune that he owns more than 1,000 animals. "The area houses over 20,000 animals, which we start selling before the Eidul Azha season rolls in," he said, adding that they supplied the animals to all of the city's small and large markets.

Shabbir rears the animals throughout the year and then sells them during Eid. Pointing towards the huge healthy cow standing amid its own faeces, he said that it would sell for over Rs0.1 million. "The whole year I provide my animals potatoes and vegetables to eat so that they gain weight," he said. He said he was only waiting for the clouds to disperse and the sun to shine before bringing his herd out on the roads.

According to him, no authority had ever taken action against them, nor would they ever dare to do so. When the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation's (KMC) anti-encroachment director, Mazhar Khan, was asked about the illegal animal market, he said they could only taken action with the consent of the commissioner.

"Section 144 has been imposed against the illegal cattle markets and the area's deputy commissioners have magistrate powers. If they take any action, we will provide them with the logistical support," he said.

Meanwhile, East deputy commissioner , Asif Jan Siddiqui, was surprised to hear about the illegal market in the centre of the city. He said he would immediately ask the relevant officials of the subdivision to take action against the market.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2015. 


hammads | 6 years ago | Reply Will someone ever listen to our issues?
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