The ways of stopping them and some experiences
Part 2 – State of slaughter houses in India.
The slaughter houses in India mainly give the information of only buffaloes that are slaughtered there. As there is a ban on cow-slaughter in many States, how many cows are slaughtered clandestinely cannot be verified. But the facts that hardworking ‘Go-Rakshaks’ have collected are shocking to say the least. In 2011 India exported 17400 crores worth of beef. Uttar Pradesh alone produces as much as 44% of India’s carabeef (buffalo meat), with 22 slaughter houses only for export. UP has 22% of India’s Muslim population (as per 2011 census).
The Centre has targeted increased Meat Production, through a scheme for the establishment and modernization of abattoirs. By this scheme, 50% of the expenses for the normal slaughter houses and 75% of the expenditure for modern and technically efficient slaughter houses is allotted. The total expenditure on this scheme of subsidies amounts to more than 15 crores.
In 2013, Indian mangoes were rejected by the foreign markets due to certain issues with the preservation and handling of the fruits. The same happens with meat abroad, where chemicals are used in the rearing of the cattle and post processing of beef. But in India the cattle that are slaughtered are generally belonging to farmers or those kept for production of milk. There is no adulteration by chemicals or feed that increase the mass artificially. Therefore this meat is natural and organic. There is great demand from world over for this type of meat. However this state of affairs is not something that we can be proud of ! On the contrary this is a danger signal.
If the farm animals are sold in the markets because they give better prices what will remain for the purpose of farming in India ? Now the question arises, where do the beef exports go ? To the Gulf countries.
This meat is 100% Halal or slaughtered as per Sharia law. Therefore it is in great demand.
There is a ban on meat of milk giving oxen. But one cannot be sure that only unproductive oxen are slaughtered. There is great decrease in the population of oxen in West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Kerala and some other states. In Delhi itself 1000 bulls are officially slaughtered daily. And in Rajasthan nearly 800 to 1000 are killed every day. And another fact that was brought up by the Chief Minister of Tripura is that with the smuggling of large quantities of cattle to Bangladesh there is an adverse effect on the production of milk in the state of Tripura.
The destruction of environment
In Maharashtra, the Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad obtained some explosive information of a number of slaughter houses by using the RTI act. There are a large number of slaughter-houses which have been giving permission to operate, by flouting the rules of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board. And this has led to environment damaging activity such as letting the impure blood-mixed dirty water to flow into neighbouring rivers and ‘nalas’ and the disposal of carcasses in the city waste bins.
And then there was the serious and shocking case of Bhivandi’s Idgah Katalkhana or slaughter-house. This comes under the control of Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipality. It was operating without a license !
Everyday this slaughter-house would let out 5 to 10,000 litres of polluted water into the nearby ‘KAMAVARI’ river. 40 to 50 big animals were also being slaughtered. And these animals mean the bullocks. But practically what else was being slaughtered, only God knows ! The Supreme court then directed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to look into the matter. Accordingly the MPCB issued an order that in case within 15 days, if all the rules are not obeyed, water and electricity will be disconnected and the slaughter house will be ordered to shut down. But there was absolutely no effect of the order. The slaughter house continued to flout the orders and remained working as usual. The Officers of the Pollution Board continued to visit the slaughter house as usual and send their reports to the Board. They did not take any steps to punish the offenders.
At last Shri. Dharmaraj of Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad filed a case with the ‘National Green Tribunal’ against this matter. The Tribunal investigated the matter and promptly ordered the slaughter house to shut down. But over the very next few days a senior member and speaker of the Mumbai High Court Shri Ram Apte fought a case in the Court against the order of closure. And the result was that an order was passed to pay Rupees 10 crores as penalty and to continue slaughtering animas without stoppage. However the case continues in Court. The court was assured that all the illegal activity would be ceased within 6 months and further pollution would be stopped. I, in the capacity of a Speaker of the Board forwarded Shri Dharmaraj’s case to the committee looking after this matter. I tried to convince them that for the last decade, this government slaughter-house has been carrying on illegal activity by causing heavy and irreparable damage to the environment.
But I was appalled by the response of Shri. Deshpande who was appointed as an expert on this 2 Member Committee. He was of the opinion that let bygones be bygones.
And in reality at judgement time only the Officer of Municipality was present and he promised personally to create an Effluent Treatment Plan within 6 months. And with this, the fiasco was closed. It seems certain now that the Officers of the Govt. will while away this time of 6 months sleeping like Kumbhakarna’s style of sleeping and awakening 6 months apart. It will be again up to the Go-Rakshaks, to knock on the doors of a Court once again and wake up the sleeping Govt.
This is the state of affairs of all places. If one sees the state of affairs of only Amravati province of Maharashtra, you would find a very unsatisfactory state in Daryapur, Achalpur, Washin etc. slaughter houses. They have not taken permission of the Pollution Control Board since the last 6 to 7 years. Even the necessary controls are not established here. There are so many violations.
Now the same state of affairs are also found in Vidarbha and West Maharashtra. The modus-operandi is that as soon as you get the orders from Supreme Court you issue orders and notices. And you send this as proof of your work and functioning and then go to sleep soundly for another period of hibernation. This is how the Pollution Control Board functions.
As soon as the period of Ganeshotsav starts some organization shouts that the water becomes polluted. This is a million-dollar question as to how these organizations are awakened.
The promptings of the Supreme Court and the deep sleep of all political parties in power : In the wake of this smooth occurrence of pollution in slaughter-houses one man Shri. Laxmi Modi took to the Supreme court. This is the case from 2003. His petition is probably time-proof as it continues still. The Supreme Court accepted that slaughter houses cause pollution. And this pollution must stop. The Supreme Court issued many types of orders to stop the cruelty to animals but the centre and the State Govts. do not care to apply them. Knowing this, at last the Supreme Court decided to establish Dept. of Urban Development for each State. The Supreme Court also ordered that under the Head of Secretary there should be one Committee. All the important Departments of Government should be the members of the Committee and they should keep a watch on all slaughter-houses in the State. And in course of time a retired state Judge should be appointed as Secretary of this Committee.
This committee should keep control on all slaughter-houses of the State and should see that the orders of Supreme Court are followed. Every 2 years one report should be submitted to the Supreme Court. These are the orders. Mr. Modi died in 2015, but even then, taking note of seriousness of the case, continued with the earlier orders. The hearing of this case was continued with another case.
In 2012 the Maharashtra Government established these Committees so that they could answer the Supreme court. In that the retired District Judges were also appointed. But to what result ? Nothing is being done as is evident from the results : Taking stock of the situation in Maharashtra there are many illegal slaughter-houses which must be stopped but this Committee has not done that.
This Committee called for the work completed from each District. And the delays that are purposely created are too serious to be tolerated. We saw the situation of the Municipality of Bhiwandi-Nizampur before. But even surpassing this, is the State of Dhule slaughter-house.
The Committee should take its work seriously to produce results. Is this the state only in Maharashtra. No, this cannot be said so. In every state the situation is same – give or take a few points. In Maharashtra Hindu-Janajagruti Samiti has filed a public interest litigation. We hope that in the near future slaughter-houses will be shut down, and the useless Pollution Control Board will be out of work.