Friday August 19, 2022

High contract rate adds to prices of sacrificial animals at Bhatta Chowk market

June 30, 2022

Rawalpindi : The Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) has given a free hand to a private contractor to loot the public through sellers with both hands at a market set up for sacrificial animals here in Bhatta Chowk where rent of Rs300,000 to Rs500,000 for a 20 square feet piece of land to keep animals till Eidul Azha is being charged.

The contractor is also charging a Rs3,000 entry fee for a bull and Rs2,000 for a goat which will eventually add to the prices of sacrificial animals burdening the buyers. The RCB through this private contractor has imposed direct and indirect taxes and sellers are fulfilling their loss from the public and selling a normal bull at Rs350,000 and a normal goat at Rs70,000 here in Bhatta Chowk animal mandi here on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, dozens of animals infected with skin allergies (lumpy) could also be seen in the animal market at Bhatta Chowk, as no veterinary doctor or vaccination arrangement has been made there.

Some days back, the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) auctioned the contract of fee collection for entry of animal sellers into the cattle market Bhatta Chowk for Rs84 million. Now RCB has fallen into a slumber and sees the whole drama with closed eyes and given a free hand to a private contractor to earn more and more profit to double or triple this amount to Rs20-crore or above. The sellers are selling sacrificial animals at skyrocketing prices presenting an excuse that RCB and private contractors are hands in glove, therefore, they are looting the public to fulfil their loss.

Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) Executive Officer Imran Gulzar said that 32 contractors participated in the auction, adding that Moin Khan and Company won the contract while giving the highest bid as compared to last year. He said the auction was held in a transparent manner and all contractors were informed about facilities that would be provided by the civic body and their duties. The contractor that won the bid will be responsible for collecting entry fees from cattle sellers in the market, he claimed.

The sellers told ‘The News’ how they could sell sacrificial animals at normal prices after paying Rs300,000 to Rs500,000 for a small piece of land in mandi to keep their animals till Eid. Secondly, we are paying Rs3,000 for a bull and Rs2,000 for a goat as an entry fee, they strongly denounced. Ultimately, we will fulfil our loss from the public, he claimed.

According to RCB, an amount of Rs3,000 has been fixed for entry of a large animal while Rs2,000 for goats. The RCB will provide all other necessary facilities to the sellers. Besides water, veterinarians will also be available to monitor the health of the animals.

The RCB will form teams to check illegal cattle markets in cantonment areas and no animal vendor would be allowed to bring sacrificial animals into residential areas.

The sale and purchase of sacrificial animals on roads and streets would be banned and efforts would be made to keep the cantonment area neat and clean during Eidul Azha.

Some senior members of private contractor said that they have paid Rs84 million to RCB. It was their business and how they could provide a piece of land to sellers at cheaper prices, they claimed.