RAWALPINDI (APP) - Skyrocketing prices of sacrificial animals are forcing people to opt for 'Ijtamai Qurbani' which is becoming popular as slaughtering animals is a religious duty but high prices are the main hurdle to it particularly in this era of financial constraint. With Eid-ul-Azha fast approaching, the numbers of sacrificial animals are increasing in the temporary cattle-markets of the town.The prices of animals have almost increased by 100 percent as compared to last year. Vendors say that the price hike is the result of the rising inflation, increased transportation charges and other associated expenses. A survey conducted by APP revealed that the prices of sacrificial animals have risen sharply as Eid-ul-Azha is about one week away. At present, there are limited number of animals brought to the town from various parts of the country, especially from remote areas, but their prices are high. "Few years back, I sacrificed a goat regularly on every Eid-ul-Azha but this year it is out of my reach as the rates of goats are very high and a person belonging to middle class cannot afford it," said Adeel Mirza a retired government servant. Another government employee said, "Buying a sacrificial animal is a dream now." The trend of joint sacrifice (Ijtamai Qurbani) is increasing after high prices of animals for the last few years. Sacrificial animals have started arriving in the city here and are being herded in the streets to attract the customers. At present, the sale prices of a normal size goat or sheep start from Rs.20,000.According to the survey, the prices of bulls in the market have increased from 25,000 to Rs 40,000 per animal as compared to last year while the price of A category bull has increased from Rs 75,000 to Rs 100,000 and onwards and the price of B category bull has increased from Rs 40,000 to Rs 60,000 and prices of C category has surged from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000. The prices of goats and sheep have also increased by up to 25 percent. The price of A category goat/sheep has increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000. Prices of B category has increased from Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 and C category to Rs 5,000 and above. But, despite the increased prices of sacrificial animals, the demand of the animals is being expected to get momentum ahead of Eid-ul Azha in few days. However, middle class circles feared that due to high prices of other commodities, the rates of sacrificial animals would also remain out of reach of general public. Traders expressed the hope that sales will gain momentum in coming days as city dwellers, who have difficulties in keeping the animals in their yards, will start visiting the markets. The city district government has allotted ten open spaces for establishment of sacrificial animals 'Mandis' for Eid-ul-Azha which are mainly in outer parts of the city. "Mandis" in Potohar Town has been established at Channi, Rawat, Chakri Road and Adiala Road near Gorakhpur. ACEO Kaan Towfeeq told APP that three animal "mandis" in the cantonment area have been set up. The sellers are demanding high prices for the animals because they have a lot of time to wait for the customers ready to pay their desired prices. Prices are likely to come down in case a large number of animals arrive in the city before Eid. Maximum number of animals are expected to be sold on day and night before Eid-ul-Azha as usual. Tehsil Municipal Officer (TMO) Rawal Town Mian Akram talking to APP said that no 'Mandi' has been made in Rawal Town area except Slaughter House point near Dhoke Hassu where the sale, purchase of sacrifical animals is allowed. He said special teams have been formed to check the entry of sacrificial animals in Rawal Town. Banners are also being displayed in this regard at all main intersections of the city.