40 pc drop in sales for Bakri Eid; traders blame price rise of Rs 2,000 per goat on higher transport cost, extortion by cops
The rising cost of sacrificial animals this year is likely to dampen Bakri Eid festivities. With the festival round the corner, traders say the rate per goat has shot up by nearly Rs 2,000, resulting in a drop of about 40 per cent in sales in the city.
Dear, dear: A goat that costs Rs 60,000 on sale at Laxmi Bazaar.
The traders blame the whole thing on corrupt practices of the Dhule and Shirpur police, who they say illegaly charge them between Rs 5,000 and Rs 7,000 for each truck that passes the toll nakas. Since the animals have to be brought from places as far away as Dhule, Malegaon, Akola and even Jhansi and other parts of Uttar Pradesh, dealers are having a tough time as the transportation cost alone amounts to Rs 11,000. Besides this, they say there is an additional tax imposed by the Pune Municipal Corporation.
As a result of all this, the dealers have been forced to increase the rates, which in turn has resulted in fewer customers. "We face persistent harassment from cops in the cities from where the goats are bought. A constable who charges Rs 50, charges Rs 200 during the Eid festival. The cost of transportation has increased along with the diesel rates," said Garib Mohammed, owner of the mandi at Bhavani Peth, who managed to sell only 30 goats in past four days.
Reportedly, every day about four to five trucks with goats arrive in the city, whereas the number for Mumbai is more than 70. The rates for sterilised goats that are known as 'Khassi' have increased by Rs 1,700-2,000, while the cost for ordinary ones has shot up by almost Rs 1,300.
Each trader in the city manages to sell 150-200 goats during Eid every year, but this time the average trader has not even managed to sell 90 so far. "Nowadays people living in flats buy goats only on the day of Eid as they don't get place to keep them. However, nothing can be decided, the sale might pick up in a day or two. So far we have received fewer customers this year," said Vinod Gaikwad, a trader at the famous Laxmi Bazaar, where every year more than 10,000 goats are sold.
Holy words on goats seldom natural: Traders
During Eid, three is much discussion about animals with words like 'Allah' written on their torso, but dealers warn that such a thing seldom is a natural phenomenon. "There are times when farmers apply dye on the animal to make it appear natural to fetch a better price. But all that has nothing to do with Islam. People rather see the teeth, ears and horns before buying," said tradr Wahab Darekar. This time the most expensive goat, which weighs 80 kg and has been kept for sale at Laxmi Bazaar at a price tag of Rs 60,000, has no such sign on it.