Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh slammed the previous Samajwadi Party government led by Akhilesh Yadav for the issue of illegal slaughterhouses in the state. Singh also said that the crackdown on illegal abattoirs is aimed at making them compliant with the court guidelines.
"We are bemused to hear Akhilesh Yadav's complaint that carnivorous animals in zoos of UP are suffering because of shortage of meat. He should tell the people of the state why he failed to make slaughter houses compliant with the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal," Singh told reporters in Allahabad. The minister said the guidelines were issued in 2014.
"Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party lost power only last month. They had three years to fix the abattoirs running across the state. In that case, there would have been no reason for us to spend our energy on this matter. But they did nothing. So, the responsibility fell on our shoulders," he said.
On the crackdown affecting those employed in the meat industry, the minister said, "Slaughter houses will be allowed to resume business the moment they get due licences and make necessary improvements in their operations and waste disposal arrangements.
"Moreover, retail meat sellers have not been hit. This I say on the basis of my own observation as my Assembly constituency Allahabad (West) is home to a number of meat shops," he said.
The state health minister also defended the move to remove the word "Samajwadi" from the free ambulance services in the state. "These ambulances are run as part of the National Health Mission and funds for the same are provided entirely by the Centre. It was a political gimmick on part of the previous SP government to give it such a name," he said.
Underlining his policy initiatives since taking over as the Health minister three weeks ago, Singh said, "We have decided to make all bulk purchases through centralised e-tenders which would ensure transparency and help us bargain for better prices.
"We are trying to improve conditions of all primary and community health centres across the state. Health care centres are also being sensitised about their special responsibility with regard to making the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' a success," he added.