Swiggy and Zomato Suspend Non-Veg Menu in Uttar Pradesh as State Enforces Ban
The Uttar Pradesh government has implemented a statewide ban on the sale of non-vegetarian food and alcohol on January 22, 2024, in honor of the Ram Temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya. In response to this directive, popular restaurant aggregators Swiggy and Zomato have temporarily removed non-vegetarian items from their menus across the state. This move is in alignment with the Pran Pratishtha Day observance and the restrictions are expected to be lifted on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.
The ban encompasses the entire state of Uttar Pradesh, including areas falling under the National Capital Region (NCR) such as Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad. Additionally, states like Rajasthan and Haryana have also enforced restrictions on the sale of liquor leading up to the ceremonial event.
Varun Khera, head of the National Restaurant Association of India in Uttar Pradesh, revealed that the food commissioner advised them to avoid the sale and service of non-vegetarian food due to the pre-existing prohibition on the sale of meat in butchery shops for Monday. This led to Swiggy’s communication with its restaurant partners in the state, notifying them of the government’s mandate for a statewide prohibition on the sale of meat, fish, and liquor on Monday.
In a gesture of respect towards the historic consecration ceremony, some restaurants have voluntarily decided to refrain from serving alcohol or meat during the event. There are mixed opinions about the ban with some expressing support for the decision as a mark of respect for the religious event, while others are critical of the government’s intervention in their dietary choices. Anurag Katriar, a renowned restaurateur, announced that some of his restaurants will not be serving alcohol or meat during the ceremony, demonstrating his support for the event.
The decision to enforce a ban on non-vegetarian food and alcohol has sparked a debate on the balance between cultural respect and individual freedom of choice. The government’s intervention in the food industry has left many questioning the extent of such restrictions and their impact on businesses and personal liberties.