One tempo vehicle carrying meat and floral waste from temples (Source- Amar Ujala)

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has triggered a controversy after it was found that it is using the same vehicle to transport meat and temple flowers. The urban body has been accused of hurting the religious sentiments of Hindu devotees while transporting flowers offered at various temples to its Maloya-based unit in the city. The flowers at the unit are reused by the corporation to make incense sticks and scented candles. The authorities however happened to ferry the flowers using vehicles that are used to carry meat from the slaughterhouses to the markets for the purpose, hurting the religious sentiments of the devotees.

According to an exclusive report by Amar Ujala, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation last month decided to reuse the flowers which are offered in the temples and other places of worship by the devotees. On August 25, Mayor Sarabjit stated that the offered flowers would be reused to make incense sticks and scented candles. The Corporation executed the initiative by training and employing several women of the self-help groups under the Rashtriya Shahari Ajivika Mission and Swacch Bharat Mission.

Exclusive report published by Amar Ujala

Under the initiative, flowers from around 156 places including temples and other places of worship are collected and carried to Maloya-based units in Chandigarh. However, the corporation vehicle in which the flowers are transported is also used for transporting meat from the slaughterhouses to the city markets. The incident has hurt the religious sentiments of devotees.

The incident came to light on September 8 when the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh posted a picture of a vehicle loading floral waste from a temple. The report claims that the same vehicle with the same number plate was used for ferrying the meat from the slaughterhouses. The report further published two distinct photographs showcasing the same light transport vehicle carrying slaughtered meat and floral residue.

On September 8, the corporation posted a tweet saying that the authorities had collected floral waste from a temple in Chandigarh and that the waste was being taken to a unit in Molaya where women would convert such waste into incense sticks.

The authorities however denied the claims and said that two different vehicles are used for ferrying and offered flowers and meat. “Somebody is fooling around. This case will be properly investigated”, the authorities were quoted. Taking cognizance of the event, BJP’s Arun Sood slammed the authorities for hurting the sentiments of the devotees and demanded FIR be filed against the concerned corporation authority.

Meanwhile, the Congress Party and AAP also condemned the incident and demanded strict action against the corporation authorities. Reports mention that around 450 kg of floral waste is collected daily from 156 places including temples and other places of worship in the city. The floral waste is also collected from several florists in the city. The same waste is reused at a unit in Molaya to make incense sticks and scented candles. Commercial marketing of the products is to be launched on October 1 this year.

Such initiatives to reuse temple flowers have come up in several cities in the country, and several startups also have come up in India with innovative solutions.

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