The chairperson of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s Standing Committee in Gujarat on Thursday verbally directed the civic body’s executive wing to remove meat-based foods from public display at roadside stalls and restaurants, The Indian Express reported.
The official, Hitendra Patel, directed the executive wing to ensure the implementation of the order within 15 days and said that it was a matter of religious sentiments.
The instruction applies to street vendors and restaurants selling chicken, fish as well as eggs.
Patel told The Indian Express that he has issued instructions for all stalls, especially those selling meat dishes, to ensure that the food is well-covered for hygienic reasons. He added that vendors have to ensure that no meat dishes are visible to passers-by.
“It may have been the practice for years to sell non-vegetarian food on full display, but the time has come to correct it,” the Standing Committee chairperson said. “The non-vegetarian food should not be seen.”
However, the Vadodara civic body’s Municipal Commissioner, Shalini Agarwal, said that she was unaware of the decision and that she had not received any directive to this effect.
The owner of a Vadodara-based restaurant known for its meat dishes told The Indian Express that in the backdrop of major losses to businesses since the Covid-19 outbreak, one would expect “logic and compassion” from elected representatives.
“Our vegetarian patrons have not objected to our non-vegetarian kitchen in decades,” the restaurant owner said. “Why are political leaders getting offended on behalf of the people? Will they now ask all restaurants to turn vegetarian?”
Before this, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation verbally directed officials to remove vendors selling meat and egg dishes from the main roads, The Times of India reported. However, there was no official order issued to this effect.
Rajkot Mayor Pradeep Dav told the newspaper that he has asked officials to shift such vendors from major crossroads and from near temples. “A majority of people feel disgusted while passing by these carts because of its smell and many also hang chicken outside,” he said.
However, Rajkot Municipal Commissioner Amit Arora said that there was no specific directive about vendors selling meat dishes. “We remove all kinds of encroachments specifically where we get complaints of encroachments,” he added.