A food stall on the BRTS Road in Vijayawada
VIJAYAWADA: With day temperatures soaring in the city for the last few days, roadside refreshment stalls are mushrooming at every nook and corner in the city. Be it BRTS Road, One Town or Besant Road, most of the stall owners are ignoring basic hygiene, resulting in the spread of water-borne diseases in the city.
Even as raids by food and safety authorities are going on at restaurants, bakeries and tea shops across the city, the vendors of roadside refreshment stalls are making a fast buck by selling fruits and juices without any concern for safety. They are not taking measures to protect food items from files, insects or dust. Even the people are unmindful of the health complications these eatables can cause and are consuming them to beat the scorching heat.
Apart from the carts, some vendors are also selling refreshments and soft drinks made using machines attached to vehicles.
According to sources, most of these vendors are operating without permission. However, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) officials said that they are taking necessary measures to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases in summer. Health experts opine that people should avoid fruits exposed to dust and juices prepared in an unhygienic manner sold through roadside stalls.
‘’People should drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Natural refreshments like buttermilk and coconut water are always the best choice”, said Dr Ch Praveena, senior physician.
However, the vendors claim that refreshments are safe. “I have been serving refreshments in the city for more than a decade. I have never received complaints from any of my customers,’’ said K Nagarjuna Reddy, a vendor at Seetharampuram.