NEW DELHI: Terming as "fake" the PUSA report on street food, the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) today alleged that plans were afoot to put these hawkers out of business through a combination of smear campaign and promotion of "mall culture".
The association accused the government of painting a poor picture of street food, which they said provide livelihood to hundreds, through "malicious" reports.
"Take for example the so-called report issued by Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition, Pusa that shows extremely high volumes of E.coli bacteria in street snacks such as chole-bhature, samosas, pakodas, tikkis, chat and tea, which can cause severe infections," NASVI said in a statement.
NASVI claimed that the principal of the institute has denied undertaking any such study.
The government's intentions seem to be to deprive Delhi's street food lovers from enjoying delicacies at cheaper and affordable prices, it said.
"Even for snacks such as chole-bhature, samosas, pakodas, tikkis, chat and tea the consumers would have to go to expensive malls which are beyond the reach of a common man. Would not it be promoting 'mall-culture' in the capital?" the organisation asked in the statement.
The passage of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 has made it difficult to evict vendors from their place of vending so civic authorities were looking for other means to harass, NASVI alleged.
"On one hand the government of India and Tourism ministry claims to promote Delhi street food, and on the other hand they are doing this to the street vendors," said Anurag Shanker, program manager NASVI.