SRINAGAR: If all goes as per the plan, Srinagarities will soon get their favourite and most consumed food, mutton, in modern packaging and multiple grade varieties, including minced meat, in their next-door butcher shop.
Government of India under its scheme, National Mission on Food Processing, is planning to modernise more than 1,200 city meat shops with latest technology for chopping, grading, mincing, refrigeration and packaging under best possible hygienic conditions.
The scheme to be implemented by Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) here will provide 75 percent subsidy to all meat sellers of the city, who are willing to modernise their shops and bring in latest equipment for providing quality meat, both in hygiene and variety.
Veterinary Officer of SMC, Dr Javaid Ahmed Rather, who is the incharge of the scheme, believes it will change the face of retail meat shops in the city.
Given the huge consumption of mutton in city and a vast network of retiling, traditional butcher shops in the city needed the modern facilities for better quality and hygiene, he said.
Rather said the scheme also includes provision for upgradation of shop ambiance and flooring.
He said all the mutton retailers of the city have been informed and given the response from the meat sellers, he is optimistic that most of them will go for the scheme. “These people should take the advantage of the scheme to upgrade their shops as it will not only make their end product more hygienic but there will be value addition to their products as well,” Rather said.
President of the Retail Mutton Dealers Union, Khazir Muhamamd Rigoo said the scheme is well directed and will not only provide safe mutton for consumers but will help the retailers to enhance the quality of their meat products.
Rather said that scheme run under the 12th Five Year Plan (2013-17) is also eligible for government run PSUs, joint ventures, NGOs, Cooperatives and other SHGs, but as retailing in the city is mostly in private sector so the SMC is focusing on the butchers engaged in this trade.
According to Rather there are 1200 meat shops in city and given that the focus of the scheme is improving overall hygiene so assistance will be primarily provided for improving drainage systems, adding food grade chopping equipment, refrigeration systems, improving ventilation, adding tile works and digital scales besides vacuum packers and gensets.
SMC, after collecting the forms from the meat retailers, will forward them to State Level Empowerment Committee that will approve and approve and get funds from GoI.
Rather said both the capital cities, Srinagar and Jammu, have been chosen for implementation of this scheme.
To avail the scheme, a meat retailer has to submit copies of documentary evidence of ownership rights of the outlet or its proof of rent or lease along with license by the SMC and water and electricity bill payment receipts along with the form.