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‘Dirty’ label on abattoir

New Delhi, Nov. 28: Asia’s largest livestock market and slaughter house at Ghazipur, on the outskirts of Delhi, flouts basic pollution norms and hygiene, the Central Pollution Control Board said in a damming report today to the Supreme Court.

The report said there were only two ramps for unloading the 25,000-odd livestock — buffaloes, goats and sheep — traded every day, as a result of which most of the animals are pushed off trucks from a height of 3ft, which amounts to cruelty.

“Trucks from all neighbouring states are seen parked in a haphazard way. The platform for unloading buffaloes is insufficient. The buffaloes are pushed out of the trucks directly to the ground from about 3 feet in the absence of the platforms. They … land on their … knees. There is an immediate need of more platforms and traffic regulation. In contrast, goats and sheep land on their feet…” the report said.

The pollution board also spoke of the need for 24-hour sanitary staff to keep the men’s toilet clean. “Proper shower facility is an absolute necessity here. None exists. Groundwater supply was discontinued in (the) toilet because of electric pump mechanical failure,” the report said.

The board’s submission followed the apex court’s directive on August 24 to file a status report on the conditions prevailing at the so-called integrated modern livestock and abattoir, constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 190 crore in 2010 by the municipal corporation.

The board’s counsel, Vijay Panjwani, told a bench headed by Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan that under the environment protection act, the government had framed municipal solid waste rules on controlling water and air quality. But the “unhygienic” conditions were attracting birds like crows, eagles, kites, vultures and stray dogs. “The odour is unbearable and all pervasive in the livestock market,” the report said.

The board said the Ghazipur abattoir site was full of dust clouds because trucks, transport vehicles, animals and pedestrians have to use the kutcha and dirt road. “In monsoon it is full of slush and in (the) other nine months it raises dust clouds causing severe air-pollution,” it said.

The report said the 96 new animal shepherd houses, with washbasins for the use of both man and animal, were “extremely dirty” and needed full-time sanitary attention.