Chicken  sellers waiting for customers in the Meat Market, Jehangirabad  on Thursday.
Chicken sellers waiting for customers in the Meat Market, Jehangirabad on Thursday.

BHOPAL: The sale of chicken in the city is down by 70-80% amid reports of the spread of bird flu in MP and other states of the country. The chicken sellers said the pandemic had hit their business and the bird flu has broken their back. Murgi and Meat Bazar in the city remains crowded in evenings. But it was not so on Thursday.

Azeem Qureshi, who runs a chicken shop at Murgi Bazar, Jehangirabad, told Free Press that he is yet to make his first sale of the day. He added that this is the situation for the past three days. He said they are not ordering new stocks. He said the news about the flu had spread fear among public. "We had suffered a lot due to the corona pandemic. And now has come this new disease", he said. Azeem said that he sources his supplies from the local poultry farms.

Sahil, who runs a shop by the side of Azeem's, said that no case of bird flu has been detected in Bhopal yet the entire Murgi Bazar is deserted since the morning. “We do sell desi ducks brought from Kerala. A pair costs Rs 600," he said.

Shahab Chicken Shop is located in the Meat Market, Jehangirabad. The owner of the shop, Shahab, said he used to sell two quintals of chicken per day, which is now down to less than one quintal. He sources his supplies from Malegaon, Hyderabad and Nagpur. He said that the people are scared for no reason. Shahab said that the rates of chicken are down from Rs 180 per kg to 160 per kg but they are bound to increase in the coming days because the government has banned supplies from Kerala and other southern states.

Rajdhani Chicken Shop's Azan said that only eight customers had visited his shop since the morning. "Normally, by this time, I used to cater to at least 100 customers," he said.

Azan said that with stocks not coming from other states, a shortage may soon follow. "The poultries in Madhya Pradesh can't meet the demand," he said.

Mohammed Farooque, managing an Al-Halal Chicken Shopat Ahata Rustam Khan, Shyamla Hills, said that rumours were keeping the customers away. He said that he is feeling the impact from Thursday. "We have reduced the price by Rs 10 per kg," he said.

"The business is down by 70 %. The current wholesale price is Rs 80 per kg for live chickens. The rate of chicken is Rs 120 or 130 per Kg. Poultry farmers are making distress sales. They are ready to sell their stocks for any price – even at Rs 50 or 60 per kg." -Sheikh Rashid, owner, AR Poultry Farm, Bhopal

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