Harleen Kaur Grewal
New Delhi, March 19, 2021: All meat shops in Gurugram city will remain closed on Tuesday. The decision was taken by the Gurugram Municipal Corporation (MCG) in a meeting on Thursday. Some councilors raised the issue citing religious sentiments during the meeting and after lengthy discussion, the proposal was passed.
According to municipal authorities, the city has 129 licensed meat shops, with more than 150 operating illegally. He said that as per the provisions of Haryana Municipal Corporation, 2008, any municipal corporation across the state has the power to close meat shops once a week with immediate effect.
The Municipal Corporation had made a motion before to issue licenses to meat shop owners and increase the license fee from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000. During the discussion on the proposal, councilors Ashwani Sharma and Dharambir Singh of ward number-23 and 21 respectively said that the Municipal Corporation should increase the license fee to Rs 5,000 and requested to keep the meat shops closed on Tuesday citing religious sentiments.
Corporator expressed objections in the meeting
However, Corporator Vinay Pratap Singh said that food is a personal choice. “No one should raise such issues, you can believe in closing meat shops on Tuesday,” he said. “In my opinion, this is a personal choice. I eat meat, but my wife does not eat. I do not force her, and she does not force me. When there are differences of opinion on the issue in the houses, the House must consider all kinds of narratives before taking any decision for the whole city.”
The corporator left the decision to the house as councilors insisted that the bylaws allow the same. Mayor Madhu Azad also supported the proposal and later on Tuesday approved the proposal to close the meat shops within the Gurugram Municipal Corporation area.
Chief Medical Officer of the Municipal Corporation, Ashish Singla said, “As per the provisions of the Haryana Municipal Corporation, 2008, any Municipal Corporation can close meat shops on the same day during the week, hence making such decisions with immediate effect can be applied.
Loss of revenue
Meat Shop Association President Pritam Singh said the move would result in a loss of revenue. Singh said, “If the Municipal Corporation has passed this proposal, then the association or the shopkeeper cannot do anything. The Municipal Corporation should have noted that even though some people of one community do not eat meat on Tuesday, other communities consume it. We used to open shops seven days a week, but now on Tuesday, we will be forced to close shops and suffer revenue loss.”
Increase in license fees and fines
After a comprehensive decision by the authorities, the proposal to increase the license fee from 5,000 to 10,000 was approved. Officials admitted that it was not possible to raise the license fee to Rs 50,000. During the meeting, Municipal Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh also said that the Municipal Corporation should increase the penalty imposed on illegal meat shops from 500 to 5,000 and this too was passed unanimously.