The Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled civic bodies in Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Junagadh in Gujarat have launched a drive against hawkers and vendors running non-vegetarian food joints along streets and footpaths on the ground that selling non-veg food items in the open “hurts religious sentiments”.
The civic bodies have directed the vendors to either stop selling non-vegetarian food items in their joints or have them covered so that people cannot see it while passing on the roads or walking on footpaths.
Though no official notifications have been issued, but the elected wings of the civic bodies have orally directed the officials to ensure that carts and joints selling non-vegetation and egg dishes on the streets remain invisible to common people as it “hurts the religious sentiments of the Hindus”.
The civic bodies have been emboldened by Gujarat’s Revenue and Law Minister Rajendra Trivedi’s statement who said that such food joints or kiosks should be removed.
The officials in the civic bodies maintain that the drive is to remove encroachment along the main roads where vendors and kiosks have encroached upon the footpaths, creating hurdles for pedestrians and causing traffic jams.
In Rajkot, mayor Pradeep Dave himself launched the drive following complaints.
He also had meetings with some non-vegetarian food vendors and asked them to relocate from the main roads in the city.
Similarly in Vadodara, the standing committee chairman Hitendra Patel issued the directive asking to remove all roadside non-vegetarian food stalls and kiosks if they are not covered.
“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 main hygiene and sentiments of those who don’t eat non-vegetarian food,” he said. On Friday, civic bodies in Junagadh and Bhavnagar also issued the similar directives stating that public display of meat and non-vegetarian food is not good.