First time SMC buries Qurbabi hides in Srinagar: CSO
Two days after Eid-ul-Azha was celebrated, there has been a sharp decline in the rates of raw animal hides in Kashmir as people were seen dumping hides along roadsides and water bodies.
Eyewitnesses told Rising Kashmir that raw sacrificial animals’ hides were thrown into water bodies in Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag, Pulwama, Bandipora and other places as there are no takers for hides on this Eid.
Even at various places in Kashmir, sacrificial hides were being dumped instead as there was no one collecting the hides from the households.
Ghulam Rasool Sofi, a local resident from Pattan told Rising Kashmir that he had purchased two sheep for sacrifice but till Monday evening no one came to our house to collect it.
“Before two years, there used to be competition between NGO’s and local Baitul Maals or orphanages but now everyone has stopped buying it citing less demand,” he said.
Sofi says a foul smell has started emanating from these hides and I will now throw them in garbage points or dump them somewhere else. “Even I urged some traders to take it for free but they refused,” he said.
Similarly, Abdul Majeed Bhat from Wagan Pura Eidgah narrates the same ordeal and says he dumped the sheep hides in the nearby ground as no one was taking it.
“Earlier representatives of orphanages and Baitul maals used to throng our residence for collecting the qurbani hides but due to Covid19 fear, no one came here,” he said.
Bhat says most of the people in the city sacrifice sheep and goats. Even last year there were some organizations collecting the same
“Some of our relatives have dumped the animal's rawhides into river banks as they no one came to collect them. Even Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) vehicles were also collecting to dump them at safe place,” he said.
Chief Sanitation Officer, SMC, Mudasir Banday told Rising Kashmir that during the three days of Eid-ul-Azha, they had buried thousands of Qurbani hides at Achan.
“Keeping in view its importance, we dumped separately Qurbani hides at garbage dumpsite site Achan along with other sacrificial waste that was thrown on roads across the city,” he said.
“It is the first time that SMC has buried sacrificial animals separately on Eid-ul-Adha,” Banday said adding that it would create horror in the entire city.
However traders said there has been a 60-70 percent decline in the demand of raw sacrificial animal hides as Covid19 has hit the trade.
Abdul Gani, a seasonal trader from Downtown Srinagar told Rising Kashmir that demand for hides has decreased this year.
“From the past 3-4 years, the demand for raw hides has sharply declined. In 2016 single sheep hide would approximately cost around 300-400 but now the same is being purchased at 30-40 rupees,” he said.
Gani said earlier he used to send them to New Delhi but this year following the Covid19 crisis it hit the entire market.
“No one wants our goat and sheep hides which were purchased at 40-50 rupees per piece. Profit is a dream we can't even get the additional charges,” he said.
Another rawhide trader from NaidKhai Bandipora, Shiekh Yousuf says that they have stopped collecting sheep and goat hides while leather is being collected at marginal rates.
Previously they could sell each cowhide with a price of at least 300-400 per kilogram and goat hide could be sold at 200-230 which is about 10 times less this year.
“Even some of us could not recoup the cost of vehicles with which they collected the leather from the villages and nearby towns,” he said.
Sacrificial animal hides used to have significance as many religious institutions, orphanages and poor people collect these animal skins and sell them to leather dealers for generating some income.
However, due to drastic dip in prices, not many charities this year have been found interested in collecting these hides.