Twin cities’ largest sacrificial cattle market set up at Bhatta Chowk

ISLAMABAD   -   The largest sacrificial cattle market of the twin cities has been set up at Bhatta Chowk, covering an area of 250 kanals at the junction of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, to facilitate citizens purchases of the sacrificial animals. 

As the grand sacrificial ritual of Eid ul Azha approaches, people have started preparing to celebrate it with full enthusiasm. 

Open for 24 hours, the temporary set-up will continue until the third day of Eid ul Azha. Any sale or purchase of the animals in areas other than the prescribed market is prohibited. 

According to the details, the Rawalpindi Cantt Board (RCB) has imposed certain conditions for the market contractor to maintain discipline and cleanliness inside the market. The sellers and buyers are independent in the price bargaining of the animals; however, buyers have to pay an amount as a token tax, which is different for different animals. All the stages, from the purchase of the animal to its slaughter, have a special style, due to which cattle markets have assumed special importance, he said, adding that the best possible arrangements have been made for this big activity.

In a brief interaction with APP on Sunday, Secretary, RCB Rasheed Saqib, informed that maintaining cleanliness and continuous monitoring of animal viruses were the top priorities to be regularly executed. 

He informed that the coordinated and joint efforts of the allied departments, including the District Health Department, traffic police, and monitoring teams, were continued, and official teams remained vigilant in that regard.  The Secretary further informed that vaccination against COVID-19 and preventive measures against the Congo virus in animals were among the responsibilities of the contractor, as both conditions were mentioned in the general auction notice. A schedule for deployed RCB enforcement teams has been issued to work outside the market, he added.  He further said, “All the stages, from the purchase of the animal to its slaughter, have an exclusive style, due to which cattle markets have assumed special importance, adding that the best possible arrangements have been made for this big activity.”

“The buying behavior of people is slow in the initial days of the month; however, the first weekend witnessed a huge number of visitors for the collection of initial information about the market,” he added.

Muhammad Abdullah, a visitor, told APP that he was visiting the cattle market to observe the price trends of the animals. 

“We will come again when the market is at its peak, he said, explaining that it was difficult for him to keep the animal at home for many days,” he said. 

Tariq Mahmood, another buyer, said that it was the right time to purchase an animal because each passing day would increase the animal prices.

A variety of animals, including goats, sheep, cows, bulls, and camels, are regularly brought to the market. The marketers said we were expecting a good profit this year. In response to a question regarding the high prices of the animals, they said, “They have invested their time, money, and energies in bringing up the animals, which should be paid back to them.”

A separate wide-car parking area has been set up to further address crowd management in surrounding areas of the market.  Parking fees of Rs. 100.0 and Rs. 50.0 are being charged for each car and motorcycle, respectively, per day.

RCB has deployed different teams to work outside the market. However, maintaining cleanliness inside the market remains the responsibility of the market contractor. 

Rasheed Saqib further informed that the market was completely condoned to keep the activity within the market premises. On the other side, district health officials are also present in the market to monitor any infectious activities in animals. 

The marketers were asked to comply with the health code prescribed by the government, including the COVID vaccination.

A large number of people are selling animal fodder in the market.They informed that fresh animal feed was brought regularly to market to keep the animals healthy. Another group is selling ropes, sonorous coils, and shining garlands for animals. 

They termed such decorating articles visual appeal-creating items. 

It is pertinent to mention that RCB had auctioned the Bhatta Chowk cattle market for Rs. 109.9 million. The entry fee for sacrificial animals such as cows, bulls, and camels in the market has been fixed at Rs. 3000.0 each, and for goats and sheep at Rs 2000.0 each.  District police had deployed patrolling parties to maintain law and order in the market.

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