By Somamitra Mukherjee
Kolkata, Jan.29 : The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has banned the sale of chicken and eggs in all municipal markets except 14 government-approved hatcheries like Arambagh Chicken and others.
Fayaz Khan, the mayor in council of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation confirmed that the ban is effective from today and would continue at least for a week.
Khan also said that the police have been instructed to maintain a vigil at all entry points.
The Kolkata Corporation has also launched an awareness drive among buyers. Pamphlets and posters are being distributed in all areas falling under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
Eight Kolkata Municipal Corporation teams have been deputed to visit all markets on a regular basis.
Vendors are allowed to sell chicken only if they have certificates of permitted hatcheries.
With the city reeling from the impact of bird flu, people have stopped eating chicken and eggs. This has given an unexpected boost to fish markets in the city. The price of fish has sky rocketed over the last two days, and it is expected that after Tuesday's ban it will rise further.
Chicken vendors in various market complained that police came in the morning and forced them to shut down.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy has confirmed that the US consulate had offered help to fight the bird flu epidemic. He said that the request has been forwarded to the Center, and now it was up to the Center to decide.
He also said that there was no confirmation that the H5N1 virus had come from Bangladesh. He said that there had been no poultry trade between India and Bangladesh.