Ahmedabad and three other cities in Gujarat ban sale of nonvegetarian street food

Published : November 16, 2021 13:45 IST

Street vendors hold placards as they protest after authorities ordered to remove stalls selling non-vegetarian food items from main roads, in Ahmedabad on November 16, 2021. Photo: SAM PANTHAKY / AFP

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has banned the sale of nonvegetarian food at roadside stalls starting from November 15. Ahmedabad is the fourth city in Gujarat, after Vadodara, Rajkot and Bhavnagar to pass an order in this regard. The order states that food containing meat and eggs will not be sold on main public roads and within a 100 metres radius of schools, colleges and religious places.

The AMC’s Town Planning and Estate Management Committee meeting took the decision following complaints from residents that the foul smell was offensive to their religious sentiments and that it was causing a negative impact on children. Local sources said the demand had been gaining momentum in the AMC as several corporators had voiced their support against the sale of nonvegetarian food on the grounds that it was against Gujarat’s identity and tradition. They also pointed out that many hawkers and vendors were encroaching on public land, which was causing disruption in traffic.

According to reports, the Vadodara, Rajkot and Bhavnagar municipal corporations had issued verbal instructions last week to roadside vendors to stop selling meat products or to cover the food as the strong smell was making vegetarians uncomfortable.

Speaking at a public event in Anand, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said while his government has no problem with what people eat, the food at the roadside carts should not be harmful to health. Furthermore, if they obstructed traffic, the municipal corporation had the authority to remove them. Activists in Gujarat say this is another move by the government to polarise communities and snatch the livelihoods of thousands of people belonging to the minority communities who own these food stalls.

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