A day after corporators severely criticised senior civic officials for the spurt in the number of monsoon-related ailments in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) launched a week-long crackdown on illegal roadside stalls and eateries.
Almost 300 stalls and handcarts were seized, according to figures emerging till 5pm on Wednesday. The drive was slated to continue till late in the night. As part of the drive, it had been decided to focus mainly on stalls outside railway stations, schools, colleges and theatres.
Chandrashekhar Rokade, deputy municipal commissioner (removal of encroachments), said, “One of the major reasons for this drive is to ensure that the rise in monsoon-related ailments is brought under control. More than the food, it is the water and vessels used that contaminate the food.” On Wednesday, civic officials seized 295 handcarts and stalls. Civic officials also imposed a fine of Rs 10.5 lakh on illegal stall owners. The drive was focused on eastern and western suburbs like Mulund, Santacruz, Khar, Bandra, parts of SV Road and Linking Road, along with parts of the island city like Byculla, Dadar and Worli. Civic officials had said there was a spurt in the number of gastroenteritis and diarrhoea cases, as well as Hepatitis E cases, a major reason for it being contaminated street food.
Rokade also said the onus of avoiding such street food lay on the citizens. “It has been observed that citizens who, otherwise practise high standards of hygiene, end up patronising such food stalls. This needs to stop.”