The Capital’s food festival, Dilli ke Pakwaan, is drawing visitors from all corners of the city. But many are returning with a bad taste in the mouth.
According to some Delhiites, favourites such as kulfi falooda, khasta kachori, rabri and phirni were missing in action. “When I heard about the fest, I was really looking forward to getting some kulfi falooda and phirni for dessert. It was really disappointing,” said Anil Sharma, a resident of Mangolpuri.
Banking on the “authentic” tag, many allege that the festival is a feeble attempt to woo the foreign crowd, rather than Dilliwallahs. There are stalls selling American grilled sandwich, Indian Chinese fare as well as south Indian cuisine. Garbage disposal system is poor with overflowing bins being spotted all around. Some areas are badly lit.
On Sunday night around 9pm, police officials allegedly stopped people from entering the festival. “I had heard that the fest timings were between 11am and 10pm. How can they stop entry at 9? It was very humiliating for those who drove down a long way,” one of the visitors said.
Nitin Hishikar, 28, a resident of Indore who is visiting the city, found the famous Delhi hospitality missing. “In my city, you are not asked to leave. Here at 9.15pm, visitors were asked to wrap up and leave,” he said.
A senior Delhi Tourism official said they had advertised and announced that the entry was till 9pm. “Keeping crowd management and security concerns in mind, the police have to stop people from entering the festival,” he said.