Gujarat: After 3 other cities, now ban sought on sale of non-veg food on Ahmedabad streets

After the Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Vadodara municipal corporations in Gujarat issued instructions against the display or sale of non-vegetarian food on roads, Revenue Committee chairman of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Jainik Vakil, wrote to the Municipal Commissioner and the Standing Committee on Saturday seeking to ban the sale of non-vegetarian food on roads.

“Keeping in mind Gujarat’s identity and Karnavati (Ahmedabad) city’s cultural tradition, it is important to immediately clear encroachment by illegally proliferating non-vegetarian food carts on city’s public roads, religious and educational places and other places. In recent times, due to sale of meat, mutton and fish in public places, citizens cannot move on roads. In addition to this, residents’ religious sentiments are hurt too. Also, it has become important in order to maintain cleanliness, jeevdaya and adherence to our culture,” the letter states.

Confirming that he received Vakil’s letter, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Standing Committee chairman Hitesh Barot told The Indian Express, “An official decision is still pending but instructions have been issued to various departments of the corporation. The process of checking and issuing of notices will start from Monday. Though we had issued a similar directive in September banning all shops and carts without licences, this is specifically for non-vegetarian ones.”

The letter further mentions that the unauthorised killing and sale of animals, poultry and fish has been noticed. It also noted that the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and its rules and regulations issued in 2011 for kitchen operations, sanitation and hygiene were being flouted.

Vakil urged to issue written notices to such encroachments and sought that action must be taken under sections 331 (2), 334, 376 (6), 382 (2) and 335 of the Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation Act if the encroachment is still not removed. These sections majorly pertain to opening and licensing of private slaughterhouses by the Municipal Commissioner.

This is not the first time that protests against non-vegetarian food have cropped up in the city. In 2018, the Ahmedabad Education Society (AES) had asked the Durga Puja pandal organised by the Bengal Cultural Association (BCA) to stop the sale of non-vegetarian food items in its stalls. The BCA had been organising the celebration in the city for over seven decades. A plot belonging to the AES was the venue for the puja over the last decade. This forced the BCA to shift its Durga Puja celebrations to a plot adjacent to the Kalibari temple on the city’s outskirts.

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