Bird flu: Civic officials to monitor meat shops; NDMC to start helpline

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New Delhi, Jan 11 (PTI) Meat shops in the city will be under the scanner of civic officials in view of the avian flu situation in Delhi, even as the north corporation has planned to start a helpline for people to report death of birds, officials said on Monday.

North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash convened a meeting with officials to discuss the municipal body's preparedness to contain its spread.

'The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the mayor, which will monitor the situation closely,' the mayor's office said in a statement.

Prakash said in view of the situation of bird flu, all stakeholders must come forward and work for citizens of Delhi.

He said awareness campaigns will be conducted at different places and officials will regularly monitor the meat shops. He added that officials have been directed to also issue guidelines to all restaurants and hotels.

'Officials have been directed to create a helpline for reporting of dead birds in open areas,' Prakash said.

East Delhi Mayor Nirmal Jain on Monday also said that officials will keep a watch on meat shops.

'Owners of meat shops will be made aware about the bird flu, so in case of death of any poultry, they can report to the authorities, so that proper disposal can be done of the carcass,' he said.

Directions have been issued to set up a rapid response team of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) to meet the challenge, he said.

Mayur Vihar Phase 3 Park in east Delhi has been closed in the wake of several crows being found dead on its premises in the last few days, Jain said.

Parks under the NDMC and South Delhi Municipal Corporation are open, but authorities are monitoring the situation. Twenty-seven ducks at Sanjay Lake in east Delhi and nearly 100 crows across the national capital, have been found dead in the last few days. Samples taken from some of these birds have tested positive, authorities said on Monday, confirming that bird flu has hit Delhi.