The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has decided to remove non-veg food stalls from public roads and those operating 100 metres from schools and religious places.
The restriction in Ahmedabad comes days after the Vadodara and Rajkot municipal corporations in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled state ordered shopkeepers and hawkers to cover non-vegetarian food, including eggs, saying it could hurt religious sentiments of Hindus.
It also added that smoke emerging from such places also causes health hazards.
Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) standing committee chairman Hitendra Patel issued oral directives on Thursday to remove all roadside non-vegetarian food stalls if they failed to cover the items properly.
He added that the practice of displaying meat, fish, and eggs at stalls might have continued for several years but it was time to end it.
The move to ban non-vegetarian food stalls from public roads in Ahmedabad has street vendors fearing for their livelihoods.
The move to ban non-vegetarian food stalls from public roads in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad has put street vendors in a Jittery .
Having now removed from the proximity of schools, colleges, and religious sites, street food stall owners are now in fear of losing their livelihood.
Pushcart owners also questioned the logic behind the crackdown on them while allowing non-veg food in hotels and restaurants in the city.
“How does it make sense to ban us and allow hotels. Won’t the smell (of non-veg food) come from there?” Rakesh, a street vendor in Ahmedabad, told local news agency .
Stalls selling non-vegetarian food are not the only ones bearing the brunt of the new edict by the city civic body.
Another fast food vendor named Sundar alleged, “I’ve learnt about the ban on egg carts, but I’m a sandwich seller and my cart was also taken.”
In light of the ban, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has clarified that the state government has no problem with different food habits of people and that the decision was taken with hygiene and civic issues in mind.
“Some people eat vegetarian food, some people eat non-vegetarian food, the BJP government does not have any problem with it.
There have been demands to remove particular ‘larries’ (carts) from the road. Our only concern is that, the food sold from food carts should not be unhygienic,” Patel said,
The CM said local civic bodies take decisions on removing food carts if they hamper road traffic.
“Local municipal corporations or municipalities take decisions to remove food carts. They can do so if they are obstructing traffic on city roads,” he said.