The monsoon showers are best paired with traditional desi snacks. From the piping hot samosas and kachoris to the quintessential street-side chaats and gol gappas, we love ourselves some zesty street food to go with the downpour. However, folks in Vadodara, Gujarat, might not be able to enjoy the season like the rest of us because last week the Vadodara Municipal Corporation banned the sale of panipuri citing health issues and to keep waterborne diseases at bay (pun intended).
In an interview, Vadodara Mayor, Dr. Jigisha Sheth explained that the source of the spicy water-filled snack was not known, placing a big question mark on its quality and hygiene. So, putting a ban on gol gappas would help control water-borne diseases.
The newly appointed VMC Commissioner Ajay Bhedu said that during inspection 80% of the vendors were using either unhygienic ice or non-edible food coloring. That said, the ban has not been imposed on vendors using mineral water.
Meanwhile, Sheth added that the municipal corporation destroyed about 5000 liters of unclean water. The VMC has also reportedly asked INR 300 crore from the state government for new pipelines.
Following Vadodara’s Lead
This Monsoon cleanse is not limited to the boundaries of just Vadodara, which reportedly saw a destruction of 3,500 kg potatoes, 4000 kg puri, and 1,200 liters pani puri water. Like the VMC, the Surat Municipal Corporation also raided pani puri vendors in Surat and officials went on to destroy ingredients like lentils and potatoes Ahmedabad too was rid of various food products.
This move by Gujarat’s major cities does not come uncalled. In the first half of July alone Vadodara witnessed six deaths due to cholera. It was proved that the deaths happened due to the consumption of contaminated water.