In its House meeting on Thursday, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram has decided that all the city meat shops will remain shut once a week every Tuesday. The directive was issued after a few councillors raised the issue during the meeting citing the religious sentiments of the Hindus. After long discussions and deliberation, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) officials approved the proposal.
According to Hindu mythology, Tuesday is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Goddess Kali and Lord Hanuman. While many Hindus observe fasts on Tuesday some refrain from eating non-vegetarian food. Garlic and onions are also avoided as they are both rajasic and tamasic in nature.
Contending against the proposal, MCG commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said that food was a personal choice. “One shouldn’t raise such issues, you may believe in closing meat shops on Tuesday. In my opinion, this is an individual choice. I eat meat but my wife doesn’t. I do not force her, and she does not force me. It is completely a personal choice. When households have differences on this issue, the House should give this a serious thought before making any decision regarding the entire city. Food is an independent choice,” said Singh.
The MCG commissioner, however, left the decision on this matter to the House as councillors emphasised that by-laws allow for the same.
Mayor Madhu Azad also lent her support to the motion and subsequently, the resolution on closing meat shops falling within the MCG area on Tuesdays was approved.
As per the provisions of the Haryana Municipal Corporation bylaws, 2008, a municipal corporation has the power to order the closure of meat shops on a single day of a week.
Moreover, the MCG also discussed resuming the issuance of licences to meat shop owners and doubling the license fee from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. The municipal body has also decided to increase the challan amount f unauthorised meat chops from Rs 500 to Rs 5000.
Soon after the agenda was tabled, MCG councillors Ashwani Sharma of ward no. 23 and Dharambir Singh of ward 21, said that the civic body should raise the licensing fee to Rs 50,000 and requested the closure on Tuesdays, citing religious sentiments.
The MCG’s original agenda of increasing the licensing fee from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 was approved after officials decided that Rs 50,000 was not feasible.
Expressing his displeasure over the orders, Pritam Singh, the president of Jacobpura meat shops association, said the move would cause revenue loss. “If the MCG has passed this resolution, there is little else the association or the shopkeepers can do. The MCG should have taken into account that even if a few members of one community do not consume meat on Tuesday, other communities consume it. We were open seven days a week but now, will be forced to close on Tuesdays and lose revenue,” said Singh.
According to the MCG officials, there are 129 licensed meat shops in Gurugram. According to an estimate, there are more than 150 shops that are operating without obtaining a license.