Non-vegetarian stalls to be taken off from main roads in Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad is the fourth Gujarat city to issue a warning about non-vegetarian stalls.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said his government has no problem with what people eat on the day the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) Town Planning and Estate Management Committee decided to remove all carts and stalls selling non-vegetarian food from the main roads — becoming the fourth municipal corporation to issue such directives.
"For over two days now, a debate has been going on about food carts… We have no issues with who eats vegetarian or non-vegetarian food but the food sold on these carts should not be harmful to health and if they obstruct traffic, the municipal corporation can remove them… But to raise issues about veg/non-veg… anyone can eat whatever they want, we have no objection to that," said Patel, speaking at a BJP sneh milan event in Anand district on Monday. Patel is the head of the AMC's standing committee and an MLA from Ahmedabad.
Political leaders in the municipal corporations of Rajkot, Vadodara, and Bhavnagar had previously issued similar directives for the removal of non-vegetarian food carts from main roads, and had gone ahead and removed them as part of their routine anti-encroachment drives, without waiting for approval from their Standing Committee.
The Indian Express said on Saturday that BJP president C R Paatil had spoken to officials in the Vadodara and Rajkot Municipal Corporations and ordered them not to remove non-vegetarian food carts from the streets. "The decision to remove these food carts was the personal opinion of leaders (in municipal corporations). The state BJP has nothing to do with it. We will not implement it across the state".
Devang Dani, head of the AMC's Town Planning and Estate Management Committee, told The Indian Express on Monday, "Orders have been issued to the Estate Department to conduct checking from Tuesday morning and remove carts selling egg and non-vegetarian food from the main roads. From tomorrow morning, these will be removed. Also, these carts are banned within a 100-metre range of religious places, gardens, public places, schools and colleges."
"There were complaints, especially from morning walkers, residents visiting religious places and parents, of foul smell from these carts. They were leaving a negative impact on the minds of young children," Dani added.
Citing Gujarat's "identity and "tradition", Jainik Vakil, head of the AMC Revenue Committee, wrote to the Municipal Commissioner and the Standing Committee on Saturday, requesting that the selling of non-vegetarian food be prohibited on city roadways., "in order to immediately clear encroachment by illegally proliferating non-vegetarian carts on city's public roads, religious and educational places and other places".
The Standing Committee, the highest decision-making body in every municipal corporation, considers and approves recommendations from other committees, such as Town Planning and Estate Management, which are comprised of elected corporators.
Any decision made by the Standing Committee must be approved by the Municipal Commissioner before it can be executed, according to the Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation Act 1949.