Every year on Eid-ul-Adha, many butchers including seasonal ones come to the capital from different parts of the country to cut the meat of sacrificial animals.
However, the scenario is different this year as few butchers have come to Dhaka city from outside amid the current coronavirus situation. Moreover, many butchers of the capital have moved to villages in the wake of a dull business following the outbreak.
Against such a backdrop, a small number of butchers who are in the city at present are charging exorbitant prices for cutting meat sacrificed animals.
In this situation, many people are being forced to hire butchers at high prices. Some others are carrying out the responsibility of carrying out the process of sacrificing and cutting the sacrificial animals on their own.
Abu Hanif, a former official of RAJUK who live in Merul Badda area of the city, said, "I managed a butcher after a lot of hassle. He will take Tk200 per thousand on the total price of the cow. I have to pay him Tk12,000 as I've bought for Tk60,000. The butcher said he has four cows in his hand and that he will come to us last."
Former bank official Azharul Islam, a resident of Banasree area, said, "Usually two seasonal butchers and their assistants come from Bogura on Eid-ul-Adha for slaughtering four cows and four goats that we four brothers sacrifice. But this year they did not come due to the coronavirus, leaving us into disarray. We've hired a butcher at a very high charge."
It is learned that there is not much difference in prices charged by butchers in Khilgaon, Malibagh, Rampura, Badda, Gulshan, Bashundhara, Mohammadpur, Dhanmondi and Hazaribagh areas of the capital.
Butchers in Khilgaon, Malibagh, Rampura and Badda areas usually charge Tk100-200 per thousand on the price of an animal, while butchers in Gulshan and Bashundhara areas charge Tk200-300 per thousand while butchers in Mohammadpur, Dhanmondi and Hazaribagh areas charge Tk150-250 per thousand.
But this time around, they are charging Tk100-150 extra per thousand.
Lal Mia, a butcher in Madhya Badda Bazar, said, "Our old customers book us 15 days before Eid-ul-Adha. We usually take Tk200 per thousand on the price on Eid day and Tk100 after the Eid day. But due to the overwhelming demand this year, we are charging Tk250-300 on Eid day."
Lal Mia said, "About half of the butchers have gone to the village because of Covid-19. On the occasion of the sacrifice, 20 butchers have returned to the capital from the village. But this time we are taking a little higher rate. Because the butchers have been in bad shape for a long time because of Covid-19."
Rezaus Samad, a resident of Merul Badda DIT project in the capital, said, "Butchers are charging arbitrarily as there is no fixed rate for cutting sacrificial cows. The city corporation should set a fee for slaughtering every sacrificial animal."
However, many people in the capital are buying cows and goats from online sellers and having the meat cut by the. There are also allegations of taking extra money by the online sellers.