Eid 2020: Livestock dying on road, traders helpless

Updated: Jul 29, 2020, 07:25 IST | Diwakar Sharma, Shirish Vaktania | Mumbai

It's a game of cat and mouse as the city police begin booking livestock transporters just days before Bakr Eid

Some of the goats that were stuck at the border died of starvation. Pics/Hanif Patel
Some of the goats that were stuck at the border died of starvation. Pics/Hanif Patel

Several of the goats stuck on the Gujarat-Maharashtra border while waiting for hours in trucks, have died, apparently of starvation and exhaustion. Truckloads of goats, buffaloes and chicken collectively worth Rs 10 crore were stranded at the border from Monday as the Maharashtra government has permitted only online sale of livestock ahead of Bakr Eid.

After the deaths, a few traders turned their vehicles around and sold their goats at Modasa in Gujarat, while others rerouted themselves to enter Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane via internal roads. Still, some of them were stopped ahead of reaching Igatpuri toll naka.

Some of the trucks carrying the livestock stranded at the border of Maharashtra-Gujarat
Some of the trucks carrying the livestock stranded at the border of Maharashtra-Gujarat

The traders have told mid-day that more than 200 trucks loaded with goats are stuck near Igatpuri toll naka. A few traders have returned to Ajmer and Jaipur in Rajasthan from where they had bought the livestock.

"It takes nearly Rs 1.5 lakh to transport goats from Ajmer to Mumbai in a truck. I had booked two trucks but we were stopped at the Gujarat-Maharashtra border. A few traders have incurred heavy loss as their goats died inside the truck of suffocation and starvation. In a bid to get my capital back, I told my drivers to take the trucks to Modasa town, where I sold the goats at minimal price. Otherwise I too would have incurred heavy loss. But the transportation and waiting charge have cost me," said Riyaz Ilyas Qureshi.

Fazle Qureshi
Fazle Qureshi

'Traders mortgaged land'
"There are a few traders who have mortgaged their land to make a good business after selling goats in Mumbai markets, as they had been suffering since months in lockdown. But the deaths of goats have incurred them loss in lakhs. Few of them were crying at the border and returned to their hometowns in Rajasthan," Qureshi told mid-day.

A trader, Fazle Qureshi said, "The goat farmers nourish them like their children. The goats are dying in front of them and the farmers are feeling helpless. These farmers have already suffered a lot in the lockdown and they had been expecting a good return by selling these goats in Mumbai markets. The previous government of Devendra Fadnavis had not harassed us like this. The chief minister of Maharashtra must take a wise decision quickly, else the goat farmers and traders will have no option left than to commit suicide."

Mohhamad Haddis Khan
Mohhamad Haddis Khan

Imran Bandi, a transporter in Modasa said that not less than 500 goats worth R2 crore have died after waiting for nearly 60 hours at the border areas. "Over 100 trucks loaded with livestock worth R250-crore are stranded near border areas in Bhilad and Achad. The goats are dying of starvation and suffocation. They cannot be taken out in the rain else they will get drenched and die of fever," Bandi said.

Mahim-based goat importer Farooque Khatri bought 182 goats which he loaded in two trucks to transport them from Ajmer to Mumbai. "I have got online bookings for 45 goats. But how will I deliver the goats if I am not allowed to go to Mumbai? The livestock worth Rs 44 lakh will die of starvation if the trucks are not released soon," Khatri said.

Mohhamad Akbar
Mohhamad Akbar

There is heavy bandobast at Dahisar check naka, near Versova bridge at Mira road, Mulund check naka and Vashi check naka. More than 1,000 vehicles of traders were turned back to Vasai-Virar on Tuesday.

Police also seize vehicles
A 40-year-old trader, Hanif Habib, who was transporting eight goats from Vasai to Aarey was booked by Kashmira police for cruelty to animals and his tempo was also seized under the Motor Vehicle Act. Habib said, "I was only transporting all the goats for my family members."

Mohhamad Haddis Khan, 35, whose vehicle was also stopped at Dahisar check naka said, "I am carrying 10 goats to Sakinaka from Vasai. Me and my family members had purchased them but police are not allowing me to take the goats home."

Mohhamad Akbar, an auto driver and resident of Jogeshwari said, "My brother bought a goat at Vasai and gifted it to me for Bakr Eid. But the police stopped my auto at check naka and told me to go to Vasai." Senior Inspector of Kashimira police station Sanjay Hazare said, "We have registered three FIRs and seized around 111 goats on Tuesday. All goats were given to the BMC animal team which is currently taking care of them. We are taking action against the people who are transporting goats illegally and without any documents." The police also seized vehicles.

200
No, of trucks stuck at border

1.5 lakh
Cost of ferrying goats from Ajmer

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