Sale of sacrificial animals gets momentum

RAWALPINDI:With just one day to go for the traditional festival of Eid-ul-Azha, sale of sacrificial animals has picked up momentum in the city’s cattle markets, where cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep were being herded in from different parts of the province in a bid to get maximum profit in the lucrative markets of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The livestock traders particularly from different parts of Punjab and KPK provinces besides local traders have brought their animals in large numbers to the temporary animals markets of twin cities to gain maximum profit.

Owing to the coronavirus outbreak, the Rawalpindi district administration had banned the sale of sacrificial animals in city areas and finalized arrangements to bar the animal traders from setting up makeshift cattle markets at different spots of the city ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.

The administration had also made arrangements to impose fines and take action against those try to sale their animals by roaming in different city areas.

The administration had set up 10 temporary markets in the district under strict SOPs including Adiala Road, Chakri Roard near Al-Haram City, Bhatta Chowk near Koh-e-Noor Mills, Manghal Chowk near Kala Syedan bypass, Famous Marquee Gujar Khan Mandi, Tanki Road near Chan Shah Jalyar Kahota, Chora Bazar Kotli Sattian, Animal Mandi near Timber Market Taxila, Mandi near General Hospital Wah Cantt and Dhobi Ghat Murree to facilitate the citizens.

The citizens on Thursday were seen to be visiting different localities for buying sacrificial animals while despite ban, some traders have also started roaming in streets with their animals to attract the buyers.

However, it has been observed that there were more visitors assessing the prices at the moment than actual buyers.

The traders are optimistic that on Friday the prices will go up as Eid will be celebrated here on Saturday.

He said the high cost of fodder, transportation of animals and a high fee of cattle markets were contributing to an increase in cattle prices on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.

It is also being observed that ‘Ijtami Qurbani’ is becoming popular as most of the buyers are interested in purchase of buffaloes, cows, oxens instead of goats and sheep in order to be a shareholder in big animals by performing collective ‘Qurbani’ keeping in view the high prices of small animals.

“The prices of sacrificial animals are sky high this year in twin cities as compared to last year and are beyond the purchasing power of middle, salaried and low-income groups. We will buy a buffalo on Friday with the hope that the prices may go down,” Farooq, a disgruntled buyer said.

Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi Capt. (retd) Anwar ul Haq also visited the temporary animal markets here the other day and inspected arrangements including parking facility, availability of clean drinking water, cleanliness and lighting arrangements, made to facilitate the citizens.

The DCO also checked implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the Punjab government to prevent spread of coronavirus.

He directed the officers concerned to ensure strict implementation of the SOPs particularly social distancing.

City Traffic Police (CTP) Rawalpindi had also made elaborate arrangements for maintaining traffic flow at temporary animal markets set up for sale and purchase of sacrificial animals in the district. According to a CTP spokesman, CTP on the directives of City Traffic Officer (CTO) Rawalpindi made special arrangements. Six DSPs, 12 Inspectors, 43 Traffic Wardens and 10 Traffic Assistant were deployed to regulate traffic and ensure smooth traffic low near animal markets, he added.