Chicken goes missing at Ramadan Bazaars


Stalls of chicken were either almost inoperative or semi-working in most of the Ramadan Bazaars on first day of Ramadan in the city. A large number of people turned out at the stalls and waited for long to buy chicken. But, as the stalls were not fully-operational, people had to return empty handed. The City District Government Lahore (CDGL) had established chicken stalls, out of which some did little business for one or two hours but after 1am, when people started crowding the subsidised bazaars, the stalls were shut down due to unavailability of chicken.
A stall owner at the Shadman Ramadan Bazaar lashed out at the CDGL for the unfavourable situation. He told Pakistan Today that the CDGL had set prices of chicken at Rs 147 per kilogrammes but sellers got chicken at Rs 146 per kilogrammes. “As we could not afford to spend Rs 1 from our pocket, so we brought less than 10 to 15 chickens to keep the deficit at minimum. After selling them, we closed the stalls and informed the people to come tomorrow. The strategy worked well as neither CDGL officials nor people could raise any objection,” he added.
Raza Hassan, a shopper at Ramadan Bazaar at Shalimar Town told Pakistan Today that establishment of Ramadan Bazaars was just a political stunt. They were set up to ridicule the common man, he added. “I came at 2pm at the bazaar and waited until 6pm but the stalls remained vacant. I complained to an official of the market committee but he was not interested to listen to my complaint,” Farzana Bibi, a shopper said.
In-charge Complaint Centre at the Data Ganj Bakhsh Town said that stalls would be functional in a few minutes. He said that officials assigned to run the stalls were on the way and people would be provided subsidised items. A price control magistrate said that as it was the first day of Ramadan and some flaws remained in arrangement of the Ramadan Bazaar. He said that the DCO had been informed about the issue and hoped the situation would improve in coming days.
Under the Ramadan Contingency Plan 2011, the CDGL established 25 Ramadan Bazaars in nine towns. The CDGL has fixed subsidised retail prices of mutton and beef at Rs 400 per kilogrammes and Rs 190 per kilogrammes respectively at the Sasta Ramadan Bazaars. Chicken will also be sold at Rs 5 to Rs 7 cheaper than the market rate. CDGL set up Ramadan Bazaars at Model Town, Mecca Colony, Ghazi Chowk, Green Town, Nishtar Colony, Begum Kot, Delhi Gate, Wahdat Colony, Wahdat Road, Gulshan-e-Ravi, Islampura, Shadman, Johar Town, Raiwind Committee Office, Sabzazar, Fawara Chowk, Main GT Road, Jallo, Ghaziabad, Tajpura, Shalimar Chowk, Shadbagh and some other places of Gulberg, Nishtar, Ravi, Samanabad, Data Ganj Bakhsh, Allama Iqbal, Wagah, Aziz Bhatti and Shalimar towns.
It also set up 711 fair price shops to provide subsidised commodities to the people. Such 25 shops are at Gulberg Town, 87 in Nishtar Town, 96 in Ravi Town, 18 in Samanabad Town, 157 in Data Ganj Bakhsh Town, 57 in Allama Iqbal Town, 12 in Wagah Town, 121 in Aziz Bhatti Town and 138 in Shalimar Town. The CDGL also marked 90 milk shops, 10 in each town, to provide fresh milk at reasonable prices to the people.
Complaint cells have been set up in every union council to maintain the smooth functioning of Ramadan Bazaars, fair price shops and free meal service. Up to 60 price control magistrates will also deal with public complaints relating to overcharging in Ramadan. Besides this, the CDGL also formed special teams to address public complaints. Other arrangements include control rooms at Town Hall, DCO Office, Punjab Agriculture Department and some other departments.


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