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Piles of meat waste such as this one are a common sight in Shivaji Nagar's meat markets.

BBMP fails to shut unhygienic meat vendors in Shivaji Nagar

By Bharath Manjesh

Bangalore Sept 12, 2017: Shivaji Nagar’s meat market continues to be dirty and unhygenic despite a July order by the BBMP that warned vendors to shut shop until they clean up their act.

The BBMP’s health commissioner, Sarfaraz Khan, issued orders in July this year after carrying out a surprise inspection at Shivaji Nagar’s Russell Market and Beef Market. He had ordered the meat vendors to shut shop until they cleaned up their act. But, nearly two months later, it’s business as usual. One can still see huge piles of meat waste dumped outside Russell Market. Bits and pieces of meat waste can still be found lying around all over the place inside Russell Market and on the road where the Beef Market is situated.

BBMP’s junior public health inspector, Srinivas said inspections are carried out once a month for large commercial places. On Shivaji Nagar’s Russell Market he said, “Since it’s a market, there’s little we can get done. At BBMP’s end, it’s up to the BBMP cleaners by and large.” He added that they mostly attend to complaints they receive from residents of the neighborhood assigned to them.

M. Sundar, who runs a flower shop at the entrance to Russell Market said no action has been taken whatsoever to get the meat vendors to practice better hygiene. He said, “The BBMP officials do not even come inside the market. They come up to the market, have a cursory look from the outside and leave.” While media reports say that the health commissioner ordered the meat vendors to shut shop until they clean up their shops, Sundar said it was just lip service and not one shop was closed.

A majority of shop owners are unhappy about the hygiene situation. Gajendra Babu, a vegetable store owner said that they aren’t too worried about losing out on customers due to the stink as they derive the bulk of their income by supplying vegetables to restaurants. But, he wished for things to get better. He said, “I’m used to the stink by now, but if I had a choice I would prefer even slightly better working conditions.”

Raja, an octogenarian who runs a newsstand next to a meat shop in the Beef market was upset. He pointed to meat waste that was dumped in front of his store and said, “Bad hygiene has become the norm around here. I’m too old and scared to even bring this up with the meat vendor next door.”

The health commissioner’s office said it’s hard for the BBMP to shut down the whole market as all the meat vendors there are set in their ways. The office would take stricter action in the future.

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