BIRGUNJ, Nov 10: Though the local Meat Sellers Association decided not to increase the price of mutton during major festivals of both the Hindus and Mulslims until the Chhath festival, mutton price has increased by over Rs 40 per kg over a month due to the shortage of goats.
People are now paying Rs 500 for a kilo of mutton here. Hindu and Muslims have recently celebrated Dashain and Ed-ul-Ada, respectively, although the association fixed the price of mutton at Rs 460 per kg almost a month ago.
"We decided to not increase the price of mutton keeping in view the possible burden on general consumers during the major festivals. However, mutton has been selling for Rs 40 higher than the price fixed by our association as traders jacked up the price citing goat shortage," Gyasu Miya Dewan, secretary at the association, said.
Dewan said price couldn´t be controlled though the association urged meat sellers last week to continue selling the mutton for Rs 460 per kg.
According to him more than fifty percent of the 33 meat shops in Birgunj have been closed over a month due to shortage of goats.
Local traders said the shortage of goats will worsen after the Chhath festival when demands for meat will go down marginally in the Tarai. They also said the local markets of the Tarai have become dependent local suppliers and very limited number of goats are imported from India. Birgunj consumes around 1500 kg of mutton a day.
Traders in Birgunj have to depend on Kalaiya, Nijgad, Lalbandi, Hariwan, Dhalkebar and Lahan for goats.