Delhi’s food culture is as much about its swanky restaurants as it is about the street food. So while many support the eviction citing hygiene reasons, the number of supporters are no less.
“It’s good that the street vendors are being removed because these stalls are very unhygienic and dirty. They cause traffic jams. If allowed to stay, they may leave a bad impression with foreigners during the Games,” says DU student Jyoti Ghalawat. “These stalls block pavements. If they remain, Delhi can never be called a world-class city,” says Shreya Khurana of Tecnia Institute of Advanced Studies (TIAS). But not all think such. “Removing stalls is not a good idea at all because they are the essence of Delhi. Delhi will no more be its self without the chaats, aloo tikkis and golgappas,” says Pawan Thakur of TIAS. “Also, these stalls are the only source of employment for so many people. Where will these people go?” asks Thakur.
Making Delhiites go without their favourite street food during that carnival time will also an issue. “The chatpatta food lovers will not get their kind of food in big restaurants,” says Eeshan of Delhi College of Advanced Studies. “Where will then students like us go who can’t hop into expensive restaurants on a daily basis?” asks Arjun Rishi, a student of Berry Institute of Training Research and Technology.
For DU students Romita Sen it’s a question of balancing between hygiene and fun. “World class cities like Singapore or New York all have street food cultures,” she says. “We just can’t throw out Delhi’s food culture.”
Compiled by Damini Pasricha