ISLAMABAD-The local vendors on Sunday demanded more cattle markets in the capital city while raising concerns over financial losses incurred due to imposition of section 144, restricting sale and purchase of sacrificial animals only to one market in capital.
Over 40 per cent of the residents of the rural areas of the capital, which make half of Islamabad’s total population of around two million, are associated with the cattle farming business. They said that some years ago, four local cattle markets were allowed in different areas of the city. Due to high taxes and cost of transportation and fodder, it has become difficult to earn any profit, they said.
This year, markets have not been established in Rawat, Bhara Kahu, Tramri and Sarai Kharbooza where majority of local traders used to bring their animal every year.
A vendor from Shehzad Town, Arsalan said that he had been associated with cattle farming business for the last 10 years and used to earn good profit at Eidul Azha, but this year, “I am not allowed by the area police to sell my animal even at my own farm house due to implementation of section 144.”
He said that over the last 10 years, he used to take his animals to a nearby Taramri Chowk cattle market, however; this year, he could not afford to take dozens of his livestock to I-12 market as it costs heavy amount. He said that entry fee, transportation, animal fodder and his workers’ daily cost of living caused high prices in the market. He also stressed the city administration to review the decision and allow setting up local cattle markets for the ease of traders and buyers.
A local vendor at I-12 cattle market, Kala Khan said that for a two-week stay here, a cow’s expenditure cost him Rs15,000 while for a small goat Rs8,000.
Umar khan, a buyer who came here from Rawat said that he had to travel 29 kilometres to buy a sheep and managed to purchase it at Rs30,000 after a marathon bargaining. “I am being demanded Rs3,000 to 4,000 as transportation charges to take it home,” he said.
The Islamabad District Magistrate on July 22 issued the directives to all the related departments to take strict action against those selling animals other than the designated market of I-12.
Meanwhiile, a large number beggars, old and young, even some women carrying toddlers, have appeared well ahead of Eid ul Azha in different housing societies situated on the outskirts of the main city, near the Islamabad Highway, causing untold annoyance to the residents.
Apparently, these groups of beggars swarmed the residential societies after escaping the frequent anti-beggary campaigns launched by the city administration with the help of police force in the main sectors of Islamabad.
A large number of habitual beggars including small kids and eunuchs can be spotted around shopping areas of different housing societies including Korang town, Pakistan town, PWD, CBR, Swan Garden and Police Foundation.
Even their presence in the ICT administration-run weekly bazaar in Korang Town has also become a bane for the families. It was observed that these alms seekers frequently pestered the shoppers and residents with their frequent intruding unwanted gestures to get attention.
Tasleem begum, a resident of Police Foundation society, said that it had become a common spectacle as on arrival of each auspicious event like Eid, the alms seekers flocked these places especially with their eyes prying on the frequent shoppers from the upscale areas like Bahria town.
“Throughout the day, these beggars occupy every nook and corner of main shopping malls and without wasting a second, flock around every approaching vehicle and family. Certainly, their presence, adds to the annoyance of residents and buyers,” Jalil Swati, a manager of leading drapery brand in PWD commented.
Mona Alam, a resident of Bahria town, expressed her agony outside a famous eatery spot at the main road of the Police Foundation society.
She said day in and day out, the begging issue had become unbearable. At each parking lot of the main shopping malls, you could not hope to skip a whining face accompanied by kids.
The situation in the Korang town weekly bazaar is no different. Bunch of beggar women, majority among them healthy, follow every buyer with the requests to purchase them some items.
The residents have demanded of the concerned authorities to carry out regular swoops in these areas especially after the evening and on weekends to rid the areas of begging scourge which also posed a security risk.