The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) Estate and Town Development Department have demolished 50 food stalls in five parts of the city: Jodhpur, Maninagar, Vastrapur, Ashram Road, and Behrampura.
While the Monday order was to remove non-vegetarian food carts, the Tuesday crackdown was dubbed an “anti-encroachment drive,” with officers taking carts, seats, and other items.
Amid concerns over the crackdown on food vendors, particularly those serving non-vegetarian cuisine, state BJP president C R Patil stated on Tuesday that people have the right to eat whatever they want and that “nobody can stop them.”
On Tuesday, Ram Udgar Gosai, a vendor took several rounds on his scooter to the roadside spot where he usually did business, unsure whether to open his egg stall or not.
“Normally, there are roughly 10-12 egg stalls here at this hour,” one of the enraged vendors stated. Today is the first day that no one has shown up. Fear grips the entire group. “We learned this afternoon that the authorities seized 11 carts from Vastrapur,” says the migrant from Madhubani, Bihar, who has been in Ahmedabad for the past 20 years. He employs three boys to cook a variety of egg dishes at his stand in the city’s Thaltej district.
A 20-year-old migrant from Varanasi waits by the roadside in another section of town, waiting for his “owner” to decide whether or not to open his egg stall. “I started working at this stall two months ago.” My uncle, who has been in Ahmedabad for the past 15 years, was the one who brought me there. “However, if I lose this job, I’m at a loss,” the college dropout admits.
The state BJP president C R Patil stated the BJP will never consider putting a stop to them or removing them. They are poor folks that rely on this for their survival. We’ll do everything we can to assist them, regardless of who it is or what they’re selling.”
“No one has ever made such a choice… They are not prohibited by law… People in the country are divided into two groups: those who eat vegetarian food and those who eat non-vegetarian food. It is their right to consume whatever they choose, and no one can prevent them from doing so. They (food stalls or lorry proprietors) may face consequences if they do not maintain hygiene. However, the BJP will never consider putting a stop to them or removing them. They are poor folks that rely on this for their survival. We’ll do everything we can to assist them, regardless of who it is or what they’re selling.” he added
Following the controversy over the removal of food carts, merchants selling non-vegetarian food in the city were advised to “hide the food” within 15 days or face eviction, a request that was softened down.