Mumbai: BMC Faces Criticism Over Alleged Mismanagement In Food Truck Policy Implementation

Mumbai: BMC Faces Criticism Over Alleged Mismanagement In Food Truck Policy Implementation

The BMC's food truck policy is a clandestine way for certain vested interests to loot and grab prime locations. The civic body's monitoring committee is an eye-wash and illegal food trucks are operating in several places, alleged the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Thursday, June 20, 2024, 01:00 AM IST
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BMC | File pic

Mumbai: The BMC's food truck policy is a clandestine way for certain vested interests to loot and grab prime locations. The civic body's monitoring committee is an eye-wash and illegal food trucks are operating in several places, alleged the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association. The association's delegation raised the issue in a meeting held with the civic authorities on Tuesday.

The delegate met additional municipal commissioner Sudhakar Shinde to discuss various issues such as allowing monsoon sheds, action against illegal food trucks, stalls on the street etc. "The food truck policy is discriminatory and against the right to equality in opportunities, which prevents common man from a business in a legally sanctioned premises which may be 150 sq. ft or less and allowing food trucks of 80 sq.ft. The basic safety, hygiene and cleanliness in the surroundings are also not followed by the operators of food trucks while stringent conditions are enforced on eating houses," stated the letter sent by the association to the BMC.

Sudhakar Shetty, general secretary of the association said, "Illegal food trucks can be seen on several roads in the city, which is also affecting the citizens' health. There should be continuous action on such illegal stalls and food trucks. Also, every year we require permission for monsoon sheds. Most of the time, the permission comes by the end of the monsoon. The civic body has assured us that they will soon start an online system to approve an application for monsoon sheds."

Shinde said, "The hotelier's association has raised several issues on which we will call a meeting of our concerned department and try to resolve them. For permission for monsoon shed, I have already instructed wards to allow the hoteliers the permission taken in the previous year. The food truck is yet to be finalized, till action is taken on all the illegal stalls and trucks operating in the city."

In 2021, Chahal directed the formulation of a comprehensive food truck policy, but the proposal didn't gather pace until 2022. Even after the BMC prepared a draft policy, the plan didn't move ahead. It was decided to allow 50 food trucks in the first phase. As per the draft policy, around 50% of the workforce will be reserved for vulnerable groups like the specially-abled, economically weaker sections, and self-help groups and NGOs run by women. The contractors who would operate these trucks will be appointed through tendering, and they will not sell any raw vegetables or fruits.

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