The Frazer Town area has been facing issues due to the month-long food fair, or ‘food mela’, being held at Mosque Road. The daily lives of the residents have been affected by the littering of the area and the increasing traffic concerns caused by the unauthorized stalls. Mr Khaleel, a resident of the area, expressed his concerns, stating that a “mela is something that is organised with proper hygiene and planning. Here every tom, dick and Harry is putting up a stall, I don’t know who is getting the benefit out of it.”
Several complaints were made by the residents and the Frazer Town Residents Welfare Association, and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) took action by removing some unauthorised stalls from the area and warning others to operate within the permitted area. The authorities conducted a drive on Tuesday evening, clearing about 18 unlicensed stalls that were encroaching on footpaths.
Ramzan ends this weekend, and the Frazer Town Residents’ Welfare Association had requested the civic authorities to cut short the month-long food fair immediately. After a slow response, the BBMP health officer, executive engineer, solid waste management official and police conducted the drive to clear the unlicensed stalls.
While a few stall owners have claimed that they only set up the stalls after taking the necessary permission and paying certain “fees” to the authorities, Mr Khaleel expressed otherwise, stating that none of them has the licence except for the restaurants. He added that if they are having a mela, it needs to be organised and licensed, and the food needs to be clean and hygienic, which is not being done.
The mela attracts thousands of people daily, and the roads leading up to the mosque are choked. Many stalls are occupying the footpaths, and residents are unable to come out of their houses. A businessman, Saud, questioned why the authorities did not take action in the first place, and added that the mela is becoming uncontrollable. He suggested that it should be organised in large areas like Palace Grounds or Corporation Grounds in a planned manner instead. Ravindra P N, Zonal Commissioner, reported to the Deccan Herald that they are ready to go further and file a PIL case to stop the mela in their area.