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Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Animal skin trade rampant despite ban

V. Geetanath

Court order has no impact on illegal slaughter


HYDERABAD: If the political heat gets too strong, blink. This appears to be the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad's policy. While illegal slaughtering of animals continues near the five slaughterhouses shut down following a High Court order, skin trading goes on rampantly despite a ban.

Bholakpur in Musheerabad, the thickly-populated area that became infamous for polluting tanneries, bone storage units and iron scrap, is also home for such skin trading units. Following protests by the public and reports by the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB), the Government decided long ago to shift them.

However, over the years, only bone storage units and some iron scrap shops were shut down even as tanneries and skin trading continue to function. Shift of tanneries is possible only after the requisite infrastructure is in place at the 100 acres site allocated in Nalgonda district.

APPCB study

Interesting case is that of skin traders. The APPCB, which conducted an environment impact study two years ago, clearly stated in its report submitted in May 27, 2003, that these units let out offensive odour and the use of rock salt for treating skin could lead to groundwater pollution.

It also recommended to the MCH not to renew licences of over 400 such units. Issue of trade licence was stopped since then, yet trade goes on sans official sanction. "It is very difficult for us to implement the ban because of the local politicians' support. Rehabilitation of dependent families is another big issue," says an official.

Following pressure from political parties, a proposal was made to re-examine issue of licences. Though the PCB report is being cited to stall the move for now, it is anybody's guess on when an official nod would come.

The Chief Veterinary Officer, P. Venkateshwar Reddy, says shift of skin trading units is linked to modernisation of five slaughterhouses closed from January 1, 2003. "These units need to be upgraded. We intend to provide better facilities at the modernised slaughterhouses," he avers.

Modernisation issue

Though the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Technology and Consultation Organisation (APITCO) has prepared project reports for modernisation of slaughterhouses at Bhoiguda, Ziaguda, Ramnaspura, Gowlipura and Amberpet, environment clearances are still to be obtained.

The APPCB nod came for modernisation at Amberpet, Gowlipura and Bhoiguda but Ramnaspura and Ziaguda units have been turned down as they are located downstream of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar lakes.

The Government has now sought Environment Protection, Training and Research Institute (EPTRI) help for obtaining clearance.

Representatives of the Airports Authority of India too have visited the Bhoiguda site, as it is located within 20 km of the airport radius.

The final clearance, however, has to come from the High Court.

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