Mumbai 24*7: Cash-Strapped Hoteliers Fear Food Trucks Will Eat Into Business

Courtesy: Richa Pinto | News Source:

MUMBAI: An Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) delegation on Monday met BMC officials, to object to the civic body's proposed food truck policy, being considered under the Mumbai 24x7 concept, which was cleared a few days back.

Officials said some rules which would have to be followed include that there should not be more than five food trucks at any location in the initial phase, that they will be there only from 11pm-6am, they must leave before 6.15am, the distance between two trucks should be at least 20 metres, only 40% of the pavement can be covered by them, and there cannot be more that four holding tables (16 seats) per truck.

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Food Trucks would also add to the trash menace on the streets. Littered trash would rot away leading to rise in pests including rats.

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AHAR vice-president Niranjan Shetty said their apprehension was the policy will provide a back-door entry to hawkers on streets. "The policy allows seating arrangements, which is unacceptable. As hoteliers today, we have to follow various norms, from licences to fire safety, and ensure permission is taken from all departments. We spend huge amounts to ensure hygiene and the safety of customers. No such permission will be required in the case of food trucks," said Shetty. This is a huge cause for concern, he said, as footfalls are already low. Former AHAR president Adarsh Shetty said though the late night food truck culture exists the world over, there is a level-playing field too.

Civic officials said they would clearly state in the policy that hygiene has to be maintained.

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