The move started when the Rajkot municipal corporation on November 9, issued an oral circular to prevent the sale and preparation of non-vegetarian food in the open. The circular was followed by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation and now Junagadh authorities have also issued the same.
The Rajkot municipal corporation claimed that these eateries were creating traffic nuisance and the vendors should operate from the hawking zones only. Mayor Pradeep Dave launched the drive following the complaints. He has also reportedly had multiple meetings with the non-vegetarian street vendors and has asked them to relocate from the main roads in the city.
Mayor further said that so far 30 carts from 48 main roads have been seized. Following the complaints of the residents, they are removing carts from at least two roads every day. He further informed that the vendors selling egg and non veg dishes may take their carts in the outside areas, far from the residential areas. They must make sure that there are no religious places around.
Meanwhile, Hitendra Patel, chairman of the Vadodara municipal corporation’s standing committee said that they have received several representations claiming that the non-veg eateries were hurting the religious sentiments. He further said that the non-veg food should be kept covered as it creates health hazards.
“The vendors are being asked to ensure that they do not hang or display non-vegetarian food in their stalls or carts. They will have to keep it covered to maintain hygiene and sentiments of those who don’t eat non-vegetarian food,” said Patel.
However, he stated that a survey will be conducted and suggestions will be taken from those who are involved in the street food business. A decision regarding the same will be implemented after.
The three out of the eight BJP ruled civic bodies have maintained that the drive to remove the lorries is only to avoid creating hurdles for the pedestrians and to avoid traffic jams.
An Act Of Land Grabbing
The move by the civic bodies of Rajkot, Vadodara and Junagadh found support from the Gujarat Revenue Minister Rajendra Trividi. Talking to the media in Vadodara, he said that such businesses are an act of “land grabbing, even though of temporary kind”.
He lauded the three civic bodies for the decision and said that such kind of eateries not only play with the sentiments of some people but they also cause discomfort for the commuters.
“This is not a caste or religion issue. Religion is immaterial. Whoever is selling such kind of dishes should buy a shop and do the business over there,” he said.
He further stated that one cannot come anywhere and start selling things. He suggested that strict action should be taken against such lorries. The corporation and the police should take stern actions.
Cabinet Minister, Purnesh Modi also expressed similar opinions. He informed the media that such decisions are welcomed. And in the coming time, many other local bodies may make the same decisions.