Mumbai: BMC Cracks Down On Illegal Food Stalls In City & Suburbs Amid Rising Health Concerns

Mumbai: BMC Cracks Down On Illegal Food Stalls In City & Suburbs Amid Rising Health Concerns

This initiative primarily targets Chinese food stalls and other unauthorized vendors that operate on the streets of Mumbai, with special teams designated for enforcement across the city.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Sunday, June 16, 2024, 09:23 PM IST
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Mumbai: BMC Cracks Down On Illegal Food Stalls In City & Suburbs Amid Rising Health Concerns |

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has announced a stringent crackdown on unauthorized food stalls and illegal parking, set to commence next week. This initiative primarily targets Chinese food stalls and other unauthorized vendors that operate on the streets of Mumbai, with special teams designated for enforcement across the city. Starting June 18, three BMC teams will commence inspections in Mumbai city, as well as the eastern and western suburbs.

According to sources within the BMC, this operation will involve the confiscation of materials found at these stalls. The aim is to address several issues caused by unauthorized vendors, including pedestrian obstructions, traffic congestion, and significant public health concerns. These stalls are often found to be contributing to unsanitary conditions in their surroundings, exacerbating health risks, particularly during the monsoon season.

To ensure fairness and transparency, the BMC will form special teams dedicated to this operation in Mumbai city as well as its eastern and western suburbs. These teams will conduct operations outside their assigned areas to avoid any conflicts of interest. Enforcement will be particularly active from 6 PM to 11 PM, reflecting the high density of food stalls during the evening hours.

Municipal Deputy Commissioner Kiran Dighavkar emphasized the illegality of cooking and selling food on the roadside, he said, "Cooking and selling food on a large scale on the roadside is a blatant violation of the law. The Bombay High Court has completely banned hawkers from cooking and selling food, yet they can still be seen doing so openly. Action will be taken late at night against those who continue this practice. During the monsoon, there is a high risk of spreading diseases by eating food prepared and sold by hawkers on the roadside. Therefore, three teams will be formed to operate in the city and both suburbs of Mumbai to address this issue."

The BMC plans to confiscate food trucks, gas cylinders, and other equipment used by these unauthorized vendors. Confiscated items will be stored in a designated warehouse in the F North Division, Matunga, and vendors will have to pay penalties to reclaim their goods. Since 2021, over 11,811 illegally obtained gas cylinders have been seized and returned to their respective companies. This practice will continue as part of the current crackdown.

Recent incidents have highlighted the urgent need for this action. The tragic death of a 19 year old boy in Mankhurd after consuming contaminated chicken shawarma has underscored the dangers posed by unhygienic food preparation and the flouting of food safety regulations by street vendors. Such incidents raise serious questions about the quality and safety of food sold on the streets, where preparation often occurs in unsanitary conditions.

From children to senior citizens, many Mumbaikars enjoy street food. However, the health risks associated with consuming food from unauthorized stalls cannot be ignored. The BMC's initiative aims to mitigate the risk of foodborne diseases, especially during the monsoon when the spread of illnesses is more prevalent. The municipality will closely monitor the spread of diseases caused by open food items and unauthorized stalls during this period.

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