Kerala’s inaugural clean street food hub is soon to be established in the picturesque hill station of Munnar.
A budget of INR 1 crore has been allocated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for the initiative. As per officials from the Food Safety department, the FSSAI has designated Kochi, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, and Munnar as the locations for implementing the street food hub project.
A department representative stated that Munnar was chosen as the site for establishing the inaugural street food hub due to the influx of tourists.
“Thousands of tourists from across the globe reach Munnar round the year. The street food hub aims at ensuring clean street food to them,” said the official.
“The Central government has decided to set up 100 street food hubs in the country. In north India, there are street food hubs already and the funds will be used for their modernisation,” said the official.
“The FSSAI allocates INR 1 crore for arranging amenities, including toilet block, waste management facilities, chairs, public rest place, roofing and lighting facilities. The local body concerned should set up food shops and they can collect rent from the vendors,” said the official.
“The street food hub will function under a committee comprising the Health Secretary, Local Self-Government department (LSGD) Secretary, Tourism Secretary, National Health Mission Coordinator, and the State Food Safety Commissioner. The District Collector of the respective district too will be part of the committee,” said the official.
Vasanth Vinu, the proprietor of a street food establishment in Munnar town, expressed that tourists would flock to street food vendors if they could enjoy high-quality food options.
K.N. Sahajan, the secretary of the Munnar Grama Panchayat, mentioned that a location has been already pinpointed at Moolakadai, close to old Munnar, for the hub’s establishment.
“The panchayat has given the preliminary sanction for the project. As per the FSSAI standard, we will set up 20 shops in the hub soon,” said the official.
“For the hundreds of tourists arriving in Munnar every day, hygienic food availability is a major concern. The street food hub will provide different varieties of food to tourists ensuring quality,” said Mr. Sahajan.