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Governance

Meat shops not allowed within 150 metres of religious places under MCD’s new policy

The policy has evoked strong protests from meat traders body which has threatened to move to the court.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has passed a new policy regarding the opening of meat shops near places of religious worship, according to which a minimum distance of 150 metres should be maintained between the place of worship and the meat shop. This has attracted the ire of the meat traders body which has strongly protested the new policy and has threatened to move to the court if the police is not backtracked. This policy will, however, not apply to those shops who were granted licenses before the existence of a religious place. The policy allows the opening of a meat shop selling approved species around a mosque except pork, if the applicant obtains a ‘no objection certificate’ from the mosque committee or the imam.

The new meat shop license policy in the jurisdiction of the MCD will be effective after a notification from the Department of Veterinary Services. According to the policy, the fees for issuing and renewal of licenses for meat shops across the civic body’s erstwhile north, south and east corporations has been fixed at ₹18,000 for shops and ₹1.5 lakh for processing units. The policy also states that the fees and penalties will increase by 15% every 3 years.

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Currently the minimum size allowed in a residential area is 20 sq m, while there are no restriction in a commercial area. On the other hand, the mandatory minimum size for a meat processing plant is 150 sq m.

The Delhi Meat Merchants Association has opposed the policy, expressing concerns that will lead to corruption. “Why would an illegal shop owner who finds it difficult to pay even ₹2,700 will now pay ₹7,000 as renewal charges, if he can manage by paying a little amount to the local police? This will actually cause a huge loss in revenue to the MCD and also lead to corruption,” an official of the association told PTI. The association has threatened to stage a demonstration at the MCD if the policy is not taken back.

The Delhi Meat Merchants Association has opposed the policy, expressing concerns that will lead to corruption. “Why would an illegal shop owner who finds it difficult to pay even ₹2,700 will now pay ₹7,000 as renewal charges, if he can manage by paying a little amount to the local police? This will actually cause a huge loss in revenue to the MCD and also lead to corruption,” an official of the association told PTI. The association has threatened to stage a demonstration at the MCD if the policy is not taken back.

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