Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) Corporator Naveen D’souza Raises his Voice against Unhygienic Food Served by Street Food Vendors
Mangaluru: I am not against these street-side food vendors, but the way they operate their business will pose a health risk to their customers, due to the unhygienic food served and lack of cleanliness- and the authorities in Mangaluru City Corporation have turned a blind eye against it, and such mobile canteens have been mushrooming in the City and serving their clients especially when it gets dark. Through their encroachment, the prominent places for the tax-paying citizens have put them in hardship. Just look at the Falnir road starting from Kankanady circle, it’s a mess out there in the late evening, with vehicles parked, and chairs set up on the road- chaos.
MCC Corporator NAVEEN D’SOUZA
No doubt, these street food vendors have become a menace in the city- not only they would spread diseases since they are not hygienic, but they have been occupying the prime parking spaces, and the MCC nor the cops have not taken any action against them. It’s so funny to note that MCC Commissioner issued orders banning such vendors in the wake of coronavirus last year- but if you look at the hygiene these street food vendors maintain, forget about coronavirus, one could get other diseases too, which the health officer of MCC and other officials from the district health department have turned a blind eye against it.
The opposition during the MCC Council meeting had raised concern over the quality of food, and level of hygiene in the street food joints mushrooming in the City. Leader of opposition in the Council, Corporator Naveen D’souza questioned if anyone was checking the hygiene standards and food quality that is served on the City streets. “Are roads being widened to accommodate street vendors? No raids are conducted and licences are issued to such food joints” he added. It is learnt that the designated officer under FSSAI had said that permits have been issued to only those who possess temporary licences for the same, from the MCC.
However, looking at a large number of such street vendors comes as a shock. More than 200 vendors had submitted applications seeking permits, which have been cleared, it is noted. The FSSAI, in association with MCC officials, even though they have carried out raids checking on the hygiene conditions of such vendors, is nothing but a publicity stunt for a day. Even congress corporator Praveen Chandra Alva alleged that no action has been taken against petty shops that have encroached upon footpaths and roads. As several opposition leaders from the opposition raised the issue, MCC Mayor Jayanand Anchan said that a coordination meeting with officials and members will be held soon-hope so!
If you look around the city, every nook and corner has a bunch of illegal street food vendors, either selling food from a cart or a van. But Do These Street Vendors Have ‘Trade Licences’ to operate their businesses, I ask the MCC Commissioner and Mayor. When a street food vendor starts his business, he or she will keep two chairs for their customers to sit, eventually, from two they would keep four chairs- and within the next few days, the chairs will be added from 4 to 6 to 10 and so on- and slowly a tarpaulin will be added as top cover- and it will be like a full-fledged street-side restaurant rather than a mobile canteen. Bah humbug!
But why even allow these street vendors to carry on the trade, while other legal businesses are running their trade with a proper trade licence? But why has MCC turned a blind eye against these illegal street vendors who are making big-time business without having any kind of licence? It’s not fair that you nail some of the businesses in the City for their carelessness in getting a trade licence, and on the other hand freely allowing others to run their sales by the roadside or on busy highways. Just imagine allowing these vendors to do their business on a busy NH 17/66 highway, where the customers park their vehicles by the side of the highway and bargain for deals. What kind of Highway Safety is this?
Also just look at the stretch on Kadri Park Road, the ample parking space which could have been used by motorists to park their vehicles has been taken away by a bunch of illegal street vendors, who don’t even pay a Rupee as any rent or tax whatsoever. Another thing is that don’t expect these street vendors are all poor-many of they are well-to-do. Why can’t they be when they don’t have to pay taxes, rent or other miscellaneous expenses?
If you look at all these street-side vendors and mobile canteens mushrooming daily in the City, it seems like neither MCC nor district authorities are bothered. It’s a mess out there on every nook and corner of the city, with mobile canteens occupying most of the space. Has our MCC commissioner, Mayor and other officials noticed it or simply ignored them even if they have seen these mobile canteens? There are also a few mobile canteens near the KSRTC bus stand (opposite Hotel Surabhi), and if you look at the hygiene maintained, you’ll puke- right behind these mobile canteens people urinate too.
So in the interest of the citizens and motorists looking for a better parking spot and also without any discrimination against other local businesses on the Trade Licence issues, our respected Commissioner and Mayor should act quickly and vacate all these illegal street vendors/mobile canteens, so that Mangaluru looks “Swachh” and “Green”? And also people don’t get sick by consuming food from these unhygienic street food vendors. These Street food vendors can cause much worse diseases than Coronavirus or Dengue, and this is for the kind information of MCC Commissioner, Mayor, Health Officer Dr Manjayya Shetty and the rest. Anticipating quick action, before more people get sick.