It is difficult to ignore the mobile eatery shops, amidst heaps of garbage, outside Gate Number 1 of Post Graduate Institute Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). Vendors of these eateries complain that the authorities have failed to provide any sanitation facilities to them despite charging them a monthly fees.
‘’We are being forced to sell food in such a filthy place. We have requested the municipal corporation to intervene more than a dozen times but to no avail. They instead tell us to remove our shops from here,” Sonu Kumar, a vendor from Manimajra, told Chandigarh Newsline.
The MC, he said, did nothing to channel the dirty water or provide any bins. “Garbage collectors remain absent and we have to pick up the waste ourselves. The overnight rain has added to our misery, he further stated.
Jagseer Singh, who has come here with a patient from Bathinda, said ‘’ I have come here for my father’s treatment. I cannot travel miles for hygienic food because I have to look after him. I have this food because I don’t have a choice. There is no place near PGIMER where you can find clean and hygienic food places and it is very unfortunate”.
‘’People who come to us don’t complain. They don’t care what they are eating because they are in hurry to go back to the patients to look after them,’’ said Titu, another vendor, who is working here for the last 30 years. He further added, “We do not wish to work in such a filthy place but we are compelled to do so. Recently, we filled the spots where water collects, while the MC has never cared to do anything.’’
Customers complain that they are at a risk due to the unhygienic conditions. ‘’We come here for treatment of our loved ones but we ourselves fall sick due to poor management of waste. The administration must intervene as this is a serious problem,” said Parvinder Kumar.
Councillor Raj Bala Malik dismissed the allegations made by the vendors stating that the area does not fall under municipal corporation. “It is the responsibility of UT Administration”, she said.
Mukesh Anand, chief engineer under UT Administration, also denied the allegations and said, ‘I have not received
any complaint from the vendors but I will look into the matter.’’