By Arré Bench Nov. 09, 2020
A recent viral video confirmed the worst fears of lovers of pani puri. A vendor near Kolhapur’s Rankala Lake was caught on camera filling a can with water from a toilet and then mixing it in another vessel that is used to make pani puri. Social media users pointed out how there is no regulation or inspection standards for street food vendors in India so none of this should surprise us.
Pani puri fans have faced multiple setbacks during the pandemic. Outdoor eateries had to be shut for a while and there are also concerns around safety and hygiene, keeping people away. And now, a new video has now come to light that could possibly ruin one’s appetite and love for pani puri.
A street vendor selling pani puri in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur was caught on camera using toilet water for the dish. In the video, he is seen filling a can with water and then mixing it in another vessel that is used to make pani puri.
The vendor’s cart is named “Mumbai ke Special Pani Puri Wala” and is usually found near Kolhapur’s Rankala lake. For locals in Kolhapur, this is one of the popular outlets for pani puri. Not anymore. According to Indiatimes, when the video went viral and people found out about it, they attacked the cart and destroyed everything.
At a time when hygiene and safety are the topmost priorities for everyone, the incident has left everyone shell-shocked.https://t.co/kFpwXFaXDk
— Mumbai Mirror (@MumbaiMirror) November 8, 2020
This is not the first such incident. A few years ago, a video of a pani puri vendor from Thane, urinating into a utensil used to serve customers had gone viral. Post that incident, MNS workers took to the streets and closed down pani puri stalls in different parts of the city.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had then initiated an enquiry into the incident and had also issued a public warning against the usage and consumption of such water for preparing food.
MNS goes on a rampage, attacks pani puri vendors: The Maharashtra Navnirmal Sena took to the streets yet again, … http://bit.ly/hNPg8i
— rediff.com (@RealRediffCom) April 14, 2011
Social media users were understandably disgusted by the incident. One user on Twitter pointed out how there is no licensing, regulation or inspection for street food vendors in India so none of this should surprise us.
Don't be surprised if hawkers use urine from public toilets to make Paani Puri since there is no licence, inspection, regulations for street food vendors in India
— Angry Hungry Bird (@Angryy_Hungryy) November 8, 2020
For many, these were signs that one should stick to making pani puri at home and avoid roadside vendors.
This must be an eye opener to all those flocking around roadside 'paani puri' vendors.
— Pinch Hitter 🕉️ (@PinchHitter4) November 7, 2020
So better make paani puri at home….. Home made is best
— Deepali Balse (@deepa_balse) November 7, 2020
One user aptly pointed out how “these people are destroying the livelihood of other honest street food sellers who strictly follow at least basic hygiene.”
These ppl are destroying the livelihood of other honest street food sellers who strictly follow, atleast basic hygiene.
— Jai Hind (@Ssh05350166) November 7, 2020
Strict inquiry and action has been demanded, along with some regulatory mechanism that ensures hygiene standards across the board for street vendors.
Takan action and inquiry
— Makshivsena63 (@makshivsena63) November 7, 2020
Thank you 2020, for ruining another thing that is dear to us. Guess we won’t be able to ever enjoy roadside pani puri again.