According to the BJP-ruled South Delhi municipal corporation (SDMC), displaying non-vegetarian food outside eateries should be banned.
The reasons? Hygiene, and because it "hurts sentiments".
Unsurprisingly, it has drawn criticism from many quarters, including the Indian Medical Association. The prime question is: why's hygiene being exclusively linked to non-vegetarian food?
But the SDMC has already cleared the resolution. It now awaits the commissioner's approval.
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South Delhi, a food lover's paradise
South Delhi is a foodie's paradise with a number of popular destinations: New Friends' Colony, Hauz Khas, Kamal Cinema at Safdarjung Enclave, Amar Colony Market in Lajpat Nagar and DU South Campus. Display of kebabs, shawarma and roasted chicken is a common practice at eateries.
Final decision on the matter on January 3
Councillor Raj Dutt moved a proposal to act against eateries if they display non-vegetarian food outside; there was risk of "contamination" and it "hurt the sentiments of vegetarian public".
However, shops can display such food inside.
The proposal has been approved.
A final decision will be taken on January 3. If passed, it will take another two months to roll out the policy.
Congress opposes the move, AAP to comment after discussions
There were sharp reactions from political parties. Congress councillor Abhishek Dutt called it "an interference in personal lives", saying to ensure hygiene, they should challan people for flouting norms.
AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said they would comment after discussing it, but a leader said the BJP is "attempting to polarize sentiments".
"BJP wants us to oppose, so then they can play on sentiments."
IMA questions leaving vegetarian food out of the order
Meanwhile, IMA President KK Aggarwal said, "We do not find any rationale behind the move that prohibits display of only non-vegetarian food outside shops, restaurants. If contamination of food is the concern then why keep out vegetarian food and snacks out of this order?"
What do the restaurant owners think?
Most restaurants seem willing to abide by the new rule. Ranjeet Kumar Das (Rajinder da Dabha) told HT, "We generally don't display on road. On occasions we do it, we cover the food items."
Saleem Khan (Al Bake) agreed, saying despite a space crunch, he would ensure no item is displayed outside.
A restaurant owner said SDMC should issue guidelines to display food, not ban it.