'Negatively Impacts Children': Ahmedabad Seeks Removal of Non-Veg From Stalls

This is the fourth city in Gujarat to promulgate such measures concerning non-vegetarian food.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Representative picture of a meat shop</p></div>

The Town Planning Committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in Gujarat on Monday, 15 November decided that food stalls selling non-vegetarian food will not be allowed on main roads among other designated places, news agency ANI reported.

Committee Chairman Devang Dani stated, "Stalls selling non-vegetarian items will not be allowed along public roads and in the 100-meter radius of schools, colleges and religious places... the execution will start tomorrow."

After Rajakot, Vadodara and Bhavnagar, this is the fourth city in Gujarat to promulgate such measures concerning non-vegetarian food.

What Else AMC Claimed

On speaking with The Indian Express, Dani justified the measures citing complaints of "bad smell" from morning walkers and residents visiting religious places.

"These were leaving negative impact on minds of young children," he claimed.

Earlier this week, AMC Revenue Committee chairman Jainik Vakil had written to Municipal Commissioner and the Standing Committee to ban non-vegetarian food on roads, indicating that the food was something against ‘Gujarat’s identity and Karnavati city’s cultural tradition', The Indian Express reported.

The ban was to reportedly help in "clearing encroachments by illegally proliferating non-vegetarian carts on city’s public roads, religious and educational places and other places."


'Not a Question of Vegetarian Food, But Encroachments': CM 

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel had earlier opposed the assertions directed at non-vegetarian food, and said that the state administration was unbothered about what people ate, but this was a matter of hygiene and roadside encroachments.

"It is not a question of vegetarian and non-vegetarian. People are free to eat whatever they want. But the food being sold at stalls should not be harmful and the stalls should not obstruct traffic flow," Baghel stated, ANI reported.

The CM had also said local civic bodies could 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.

'Blatant Misuse of Power' Says Congress

Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Dr Shama Mohamed said this was a 'blatant abuse of power' and 'a clear case of executive overreach' by the government of Gujarat.

Street vendors in the city also fear losing their only source of income amid the AMC ban. Speaking to ANI, Rakesh, a street vendor asked, "How does it make sense to ban us and allow hotels. Won't the smell (of non-veg food) come from there?"

What the Vadodara Civic Body Had Said

The Vadodara Municipal Corporation, on 11 November had issued verbal instructions to remove non-vegetarian food from 'public display' at food stalls.

This was reportedly due to 'respect religious sentiments' and 'avoid traffic snarls.' Vendors had been asked to adhere to the instructions within 15 days or face penalties.

'Don't Base Announcements on Beliefs': State Chief

However, State chief CR Paatil reportedly asked civic bodies to not base announcements on “personal beliefs”, The Indian Express reported.

He added, "It was the personal opinion of independent leaders and state BJP has nothing to do with it and we will not implement it across the state," The Indian Express quoted.

Several BJP leaders and members reportedly echoed this sentiment, disagreeing with the decision. In Vadodara, a BJP elected representative said, "I am a vegetarian but I do not agree with the decision. The stalls selling non-vegetarian food are a source of livelihood for some families.."

The VMC orders came a day after the Rajkot city mayor asked the VMC to ensure that non-vegetarian food stalls remain strictly within the hawking zones and steer clear of the main road.

In October, during the Navratri festivities, several Hindutva outfits had compelled meat shops to shut down in various states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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