Updated: December 28, 2017 7:14:23 am
Shopkeepers in south Delhi may soon have to keep all non-vegetarian food items inside shelves since the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has proposed that such food items cannot be displayed out in the open. The proposal was brought in during the last House meeting on December 20, and approved by Leader of House Shikha Rai. Rai said that the move was proposed to “maintain hygiene and to respect people’s sentiments since not everyone eats non-vegetarian food”.
Currently, the proposal is awaiting SDMC commissioner P K Goel’s approval, who will examine if the move is in accordance with the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act before making it a rule, Rai said. The proposal — a private member’s resolution — was first moved during a Health Committee meeting by Raj Dutt, a councillor from Kakrola village in the Najafgarh zone. “Seekh kebabs being displayed outside may get contaminated due to pollution. Also, there are many vegetarian people who feel bad seeing these items,” said Dutt.
“The health committee then moved the proposal in the SDMC House meeting. The House approved it,” an SDMC spokesperson said. The proposal by the SDMC reads: “It has been seen that non-vegetarian food items are displayed publicly by restaurant owners. By doing so, there is danger of contamination to non-vegetarian food items. It also hurts the sentiments of the vegetarian public.”
Therefore, to stop the practice, the Medical Relief and Public Health Committee places this proposal that if any restaurant owners are found to be doing so then action must be taken against them, it added. The AAP said that they will “discuss” the issue when the matter is brought to the House. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “When the issue is brought to the floor of the House, we will discuss it and proceed accordingly.”
Explaining the party’s reticence to react to the SDMC’s proposal, a senior AAP leader said, “Right now, the BJP is attempting to polarise sentiments. Honestly, if this proposal is brought forward, it will be the Hindus who will face the most problems. From Kashmiri Pandits to Dalits to Punjabis — these are all Hindu non-vegetarian communities. But it is a trap. The BJP wants us to react and oppose the move, so then they can play on sentiments and polarise people.”
Leader of Congress in the south corporation, Abhishek Dutt, said, “The corporation has power to challan unhygienic items but BJP is busy doing politics on vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items and entering into people’s personal life. If they have problems with unhygienic food, then what about the foods prepared in the open?”
He added that the corporation should first tackle issues such as pensions for safai karamcharis, health hazards in the city and cleanliness. South Delhi is home to many eateries and restaurants selling meat products in places such as Hauz Khas, New Friends’ Colony, Kamal Cinema in Safdarjung Green Park, Amar Colony Market near Lajpat Nagar.
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