Illegal cattle markets inundate capital despite city managers reassurances


-Cattle vendors in their bid to dodge taxes, other expenses roam freely in the city as Eid-ul-Azha draws near

ISLAMABAD: Although the Municipal Cattle Market is established in sector I-12/1, but lack of facilities like the provision of a veterinary doctor, water and proper sanitation has caused many vendors to roam around the federal capital in a bid to look for prospective buyers; thus, crowding roads and sidewalks with sacrificial animals.

Although the concerned formations of Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) have been directed to ensure proper sanitation system, provision of uninterrupted water supply, proper lighting arrangements and provision of other basic facilities at the Cattle Market, piles of manure welcomed this scribe on a recent visit with the situation deteriorating further. Heavy rainfall is also making it a Herculean task for prospective buyers to roam around.

Despite the tall promises, no ambulance service could be spotted to cope with any untoward incident. Vendors in the market complained of the absence of a veterinary doctor and insufficient arrangements of anti-bacterial/anti-viral sprays on daily basis.

Interestingly, regardless of the DMA and Environment Wing’s direction to ensure that there should be no illegal sale or purchase of sacrificial animals in parts of the city except the approved site, the ground reality portrays an entirely different picture.

Hundreds of sacrificial animals of all sizes are roaming on the main roads, service roads, footpaths and inside residential and commercial sectors. There are areas where small illegal cattle markets are established. The most prominent illegal markets are near Meera Abadi, G-11, Golra Sharif, Bhara Kahu, and near Saidpur Village among other areas in both rural and urban Islamabad.

It is pertinent to mention here that the mushrooming of these cattle markets comes after a private contractor was awarded a contract of Rs71.5 million by the city government to ensure that vendors coming from different parts of the country to sell their goats, sheep, cows and camels are provided with basic facilities.

Ali Syed, a resident of G-11, while talking to Pakistan Today said that the prices of sacrificial animals have skyrocketed with no intervention of authorities as always. “A good cow is anywhere between Rs80,000 to one lakh which is an exorbitant amount. A good goat or sheep starts from Rs40,000 upwards. It is about time that these prices be brought to a level where folks from the middle class can afford to buy them,” he said.

In order to tackle and address the complaints, the DMA has been directed to ensure effective monitoring for charging the prescribed entry fee for all kind of sacrificial animals so that the public can buy sacrificial animals without any hassle.