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Despite the ban on sale of cut fruits in the city, vendors continue to sell fruits in unhygienic conditions at several places.
The vendors can be seen near government offices in Sector 17 and Sector 22 among other places. Most of them sell fruits in unhygienic conditions with flies and bees sitting on them.
Fruits like papaya, banana, apple, watermelon, sweet potato are commonly sold. Cut vegetables including cucumber, radish, beet root and carrot are also being sold.
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In April, the deputy commissioner had issued a notification regarding the ban of sale of eatables such as cut fruits, cut vegetables, sweets, cakes, biscuits, sugarcane juice, jaljeera, ice candies, or any other eatables that are sold in open environment where there is influx of flies,bees and dust particles, under Section 2 of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
The health department has seized and destroyed 85kg cut fruits this month.
Talking about the harmful effects caused by eating cut fruits, Dr P S Bhatti, medical health officer, Chandigarh, said: “People should avoid having cut fruits, lemonade, sugarcane juice or any other eatables that are sold on streets and prepared under unhygienic conditions. Chances of getting water-borne, communicable diseases are common. People can also suffer from cholera, hepatitis-B, fever, food poisoning, typhoid and others.”
Raja, a visitor at Sector 17 plaza, who bought cut fruits said: “We were not aware about the condition and quality of the fruits served to us. People should be aware and concerned about how these fruits are pre-cut and served.”
Talking about the problems they have to face when the municipal corporation arrives for inspection, Devinder Kumar, a vendor, said: “They come and seize the whole handcart including all the fruits. After seizing all items they issue us a challan and it takes two to three days to recover our belongings. By the time we receive our items, they get rott”n.”
Another vendor at Sector 17 market said: “We are not allowed to sell cut fruits. We are ready to pay tax to the municipal corporation if they allow us to use handcarts to sell cut fruits. While the government wants to encourage employment, on the other side it prohibits us to sell cut fruits on handcarts. The municipal corporation should make rules and regulations on selling cut fruits, we are ready to follow them.”.
To save the right of livelihood and to regulate street vendors, Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street vending) Act, 2014 was passed by the Parliament.
The municipal corporation has selected a NGO, Haryana Nav Yuvak Kala Sangam, which is carrying out a survey in which all the street vendors will be added and the support of civil society organisations, municipal councillors will be extended.
Under Section 2 of this Act, no street vendor will be evicted or relocated till the survey is completed. After the survey, a certificate will be issued to all the vendors who are above the age of 14.