When will a state-of-the-art slaughterhouse be built in Pokhara?

Published On: July 10, 2022 04:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

POKHARA, July 10: If the work had been done as per the agreement, a slaughterhouse would have been built in Pokhara by this time and the people of Pokhara would have been able to eat healthy meat. Nor would the stench of garbage from cattle, including buffaloes, pigs, and chickens, which are being slaughtered indiscriminately at present, would torture the locals.

However, the Pokhara Municipal City could not build the abattoir as per the agreement reached with the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation of Gandaki. The municipality signed an agreement with the ministry three years ago to build an abattoir within a year. However, the municipality failed to build the slaughterhouse as per its own agreement. As a result, the people of Pokhara are forced to eat haphazardly slaughtered meat like before. The flies buzz over that meat.

The lack of funds did not delay the construction of the slaughterhouse. Rather, the officials of the metropolis do not have the will to build the slaughterhouse. The municipality had moved ahead with the process saying that it would build a state-of-the-art slaughterhouse at a cost of Rs 240 million.

Of the Rs 240 million required for the construction of the slaughterhouse, the federal government has agreed to provide Rs 100 million and the provincial government Rs 50 million. In addition, Heifer Nepal pledged Rs 90 million in technical assistance for the slaughterhouse. It was said that the metropolis would bear the rest of the amount. 

However, the budget of the federal and provincial governments was frozen last year due to non-construction of the slaughterhouse. It is unclear whether Heifer Nepal will provide the technical assistance now. As a result, there is a question mark over whether a slaughterhouse will actually be built in Pokhara.

Initially, the construction of the slaughterhouse was delayed due to the lack of land. Later, the committee tasked with searching for land in Pokhara-21 found a piece of land but the work was stuck because they could not buy that land. The metropolis then backed away from that decision and prepared to build the slaughterhouse on a vacant land between Sahara Academy and Osho Meditation Center.

The municipality saw that the place would be suitable for the construction of a slaughterhouse as there was no human settlement nearby.

The land was acquired but the construction work was not carried out due to the obstruction of the locals. After that, there are plans to build a slaughterhouse in a ward in the southern region of Pokhara, but the name of the place has not been made public for the fear of protests by locals. However, the construction work of the slaughterhouse has not started.

It seems that the will of the municipality staff is not enough as the abattoir has not been constructed even after three years. Chairman of the Consumers Forum, Gandaki Kapil Nath Koirala said that the construction of the slaughterhouse was delayed due to the indifference of the metropolis.

"There is money and land for the construction of the abattoir, but due to the indifference of the people's representatives and the staff, the abattoir has not been built yet," he said.

Chief of Department of Livestock Services, Pokhara, Nawaraj Adhikari said that the work could not move forward due to the people's representatives rather than the employees. "The job of the staff is to implement what has been decided," he said, "But the decision is up to the people's representatives." Without the same decision, the construction of the slaughterhouse could not proceed. The people's representatives have to make a 'bold decision’, he added, “But initially no decision was made. After that, the then Man Bahadur CG fell ill and no one paid any attention.”  However, he said that there is no dilemma in the construction.

Mayor of Pokhara, Dhanraj Acharya, said that the city is adamant that a state-of-the-art slaughterhouse should be built in Pokhara. However, he said that he was still unaware of why it was not made. "There is no doubt that a slaughterhouse should be built. But, why not first? It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Now that the metropolitan budget has been passed, we will decide on it with the stakeholders, 'he said.

The metropolis has stated that the slaughterhouse currently under construction will be state-of-the-art. The abattoir is being constructed in such a way that up to one thousand animals can be slaughtered in one day, said Adhikari. According to him, a goat slaughtering machine will be brought. He said that before slaughtering the animal in the slaughterhouse, its health will be tested. According to him, the animal will be slaughtered only after it is proved to be healthy.

He clarified that unhealthy goats will not be slaughtered. After slaughter, its flesh, skin, intestines, legs, bones, etc. will be separated. He informed us that arrangements will be made to go to the market after packaging the meat. He said that after the construction of the abattoir, it will not be possible to dump the garbage outside. Similarly, a separate slaughter house will be constructed for chickens. The metropolis has also stated that it will build separate slaughterhouses for buffaloes.

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