Street food better than hotel food

AJ. PHILIP, in his articulate article, “To ban or not: Splendours of roadside  food” (June 2) has highlighted the true picture of common people, the students and the office goers,  enjoying tasty and hygienic food with vendors serving them with great hospitality.

A street food seller has nothing to hide as every item is cooked under the sun unlike the air-conditioned hotels where the kitchens are out of bounds for the customers. Whatever is served on the table, the quality is of no match to the one supplied by the street food sellers.

During my tenure in INS India at Naval Headequarters, New Delhi (1959-60), I often visited Billi Maron Mohalla where the passionate poet Mirza Ghalib lived and died. One always found there many people, including foreigners, enjoying hot paranthas, pooris, channa bhaaji and even chatni prepared and sold by street vendors. The Indian Navy provided the best of food to its men, but I, too, used to visit this place to enjoy my quota of six pooris with chaana bhaji for four annas only.


The Supreme Court ban on the street food vendors would do more harm to the common people who cannot afford the costly food in the star hotels. The court should reconsider its order and help honest and humble vendors serve the common people.



The writer has made a correct analysis of roadside food in terms of its dependable quality, freshness, affordability, accessibility and its employment potential.

The roadside food is a big sector per se. The food serving rehris provide employment to millions throughout country and serve the poorest. By banning roadside food, millions will be rendered unemployed and millions will go without meals at affordable prices.

It has been rightly pointed out that roadside food is more safe, more hygienic and more nutritious than the food served at the five-star hotels, restaurants, high profile food joints, food sold by vendors at railway stations and bus stands. Of course, the roadside food remains hygienic only if it is covered properly, beyond the reach of flies and dust. Therefore, the court’s intervention should not render millions jobless and foodless.

PURAN SINGH, Chandigarh


Every ordinary citizen will endorse the writer’s opinion on street food. I had a bitter experience. Once I stepped into a restaurant just opposite the Chandigarh bus stand. I had paranthas for Rs 20 a piece. The same would have cost Rs 5 at the street stalls.

Once at New Delhi’s Pahar ganj area, I watched street food vendors supplying chicken tikki, tandoori etc., to a star hotel. These items were served to their customers at hefty rates! Clearly, the sophisticated hotels, even dhabas, for that matter, are charging heavy for the food they serve.

Of course, there is a possible hafta by all sundries. There is need for a proper regulatory mechanism, but blanket ban on street food sellers outright is not acceptable. Measures like provision of a proper sewage system and keeping the pavement free from pedestrians etc. must be implemented along with strict monitoring by the staff on duty.

M.T. SAMBANTHAM, Tutu, Shimla 


Obnoxious practice

Dr Vitul K. Gupta’s letter, “Tackle the evil” (June 6), on female foeticide was timely. Technology, a double-edged sword, can be put to both constructive and destructive use. There can be no better example to illustrate this than the possible use and misuse of nuclear technology.

Similarly, the ultra-sound technique can be used and is being used to diagnose various ailments, as also to determine the sex of the unborn child. The bias against the female child stems from the evil practice of dowry in our society and, therefore, it is this pernicious system that needs to be tackled. The people themselves have to bring about a change in their mindset to jettison this age-old obnoxious practice.

Monitoring of each and every ultra-sound centre in the country is a gigantic exercise. A massive PR drive against the dowry system by the government, NGOs, students and a determined self-regulation by the medical fraternity will help solve the issue.

Dr M.K. BAJAJ, Dhakouli (Zirakpur)

Enforce the rules

The news-item (June 1) refers to a survey conducted by the Community Medicine Department, IGMC, Shimla, to the effect that 45 per cent of pan shops are located within 100 yards of school and college buildings.

Not only pan shops but even a liquor shop has been opened near a government high school. On one side of the road on National Highway 22 Barog bypass, there is a government high school at Bhoj Anji in Solan district. It is located just near the road and a liquor shop is flourishing just opposite the high school.

The liquor shop owner has displayed many vulgar posters too. Isn’t it also a case of government apathy? But who bothers because the government wants to earn revenue at any cost!

R. K. SHARMA, Rabon (Solan)

Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, up to 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters should carry the full address of the writers. Letters can also be emailed at letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief 



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