Soon, non-veg lovers may not find their favourite kebabs and chicken tikka displayed in front of food stalls and restaurants in South Delhi. The scrumptious seekh kebabs on skewers and juicy chicken tikkas spread in front of food stalls may get shifted inside shelves in South Delhi, as the area’s civic body has proposed a ban on their display in the open. The BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) House recently passed a proposal to ban the display of non-veg items outside eateries. Sikha Rai, Leader of House, said “hygiene and sentiments of people” are affected by the sight. Rai added that proposal will be applicable for “both raw and cooked meat” of all kinds, displayed by shop-owners right outside their shops. An SDMC spokesperson said the proposal was a private member resolution originally moved by a councillor from Kakrola village in Najafgarh Zone. The Health Committee then moved it to the SDMC House, which later approved it. “Since it was a private member resolution, the proposal would now be sent to the Commissioner to be examined, if it is in accordance with the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act,” he said, adding, “He may accept or reject it”.
South Delhi is popular for its restaurants and food joints. Hauz Khas, New Friends’ Colony, Kamal Cinema in Safdarjung Green Park, Amar Colony Market near Lajpat Nagar are some areas where the display of skewered kebabs and shawarma is a common sight. The proposal has drawn sharp reaction from political parties and the medical fraternity.
Meanwhile, Congress has slammed the move, while Aam Admi Party has reacted cautiously. Abhishek Dutt, Congress councillor and leader of his party in the SDMC House, termed the proposal as an interference in people’s personal lives. “Just because the BJP has a majority in the House it cannot make such dictatorial decisions. If it’s related to hygiene they should challan those flouting rules. What is the need for bringing in such a blanket ban,” he said. Dutt added that Congress councillors had opposed the move but due to the BJP’s majority in the House, it was approved. However, Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said that the move was taken from public health angle and maintained that there would be no curbs on the sale of non-vegetarian food. Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, a party spokesperson, said that the proposal will be discussed and AAP councillors would share their views on the matter.
Reacting to the development, Indian Medical Association questioned ban on the display of only non-vegitarian items. It said if there is a ban, it shall apply to both veg and Non-veg food as every food needs to remain healthy. “We do not find any rational behind the move that prohibits display of only non-vegetarian food outside shops, restaurants. If contamination of food is the concern then why keep out vegetarian food and snacks out of this order,” IMA President K K Aggarwal said.