ISLAMABAD    -    The Islamabad Capital Territory administration has formed a special committee for streamlining matters related to sale of sacrificial animals, preventing their trade at other than designated places in the federal capital.

This year, the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) has specified five places in Sector I-12, Saidpur Village, Bhara Kahu, Taramari Chowk and Sarai Kharbuza for sale and purchase of sacrificial animals without any fee and announced to take stern action against the cattle markets illegally set up elsewhere.

According to Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat, the committee comprising officials from ICT administration, police, Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP), and sanitation and environment wings of the MCI, would ensure the compliance of Section 144, banning trade of sacrificial animals within the capital’s ‘sectoral jurisdiction.’ The committee, he said, had directed the relevant departments to take strict action against those vendors who were found damaging green belts, trees and newly planted saplings, besides disrupting traffic flow on the city roads. “The police are allowed to lodge FIRs (First Information Reports) against violators of Section 144,” Hamza told this agency.

Highlighting the actions of committee, he asserted that it had removed mobile cattle markets from Rawal Dam Road to Taramri Chowk. Disaster Management Authority (DMA) and MCI sources said the corporation was in constant contact with other departments and providing every possible facility to the vendors at designated markets. Hamza claimed that the MCI and the DMA were offering electricity, veterinary and water facilities at the five markets. Contrary to the claims of ICT administration, a number of vendors can be seen roaming in various areas of the capital with their livestock to earn extra profit.

Sayed Hasnain, a resident of Talhrar village, said the mobile vendors were selling sacrificial animals at road intersections and other places showing that the authorities concerned were not cognizant of the actual situation.

Pointing out cattle markets set up at roadsides near Simli dam, Bagwal, Rawal Dam, Khanna Bridge and other areas, he said the vendors even did not spare major roads of the capital in sheer violation of Section 144. He said the roadside sale and purchase of animals was not only hurting the beauty of capital but also causing environmental degradation and traffic congestion. Razak Haider from Sargodha, who was selling goats near Khanna Pull, complained about lack of serious buyers in main markets due to artificial price hike of traders who demanded high rates on the pretext of fake taxes. The buyers preferred to buy animals of their choice at affordable prices from mobile vendors, he added. Meanwhile, the vendors, who have set up their stalls at the main cattle markets, complained of lack of facilities. They demanded more markets in the town, saying the traders waited one year for the occasion. “We should be given all out facilities as our business support the national economy, directly,” they remarked.   When contacted, the ITP’s Complaint Cell officials said they had not so far received any road congestion complaint in the city due to roadside selling of sacrificial animals. He, however, said the action would be taken on receiving any such complaint.