Shops sealed ‘today’ resume business ‘tomorrow’ without any hassles
Food safety officials continue to play with people’s health …
Srinagar, Mar 23: What is the fun of closing down shops selling adulterated foods items when concerned authorities allow them to resume their business very next day?
Now there is reason for this assertion. A team of Food Safety sleuths on Tuesday raided and closed down ‘Iqra Fish Point’ in Bemina, a shop dealing in fish and dressed chicken following some complaints about ‘foul smell’ emanating from the food products. However, the news is that the shop that was closed yesterday was found doing the routine business today!
“Assistant Commissioner Food Safety visited the shop himself but didn’t take any samples,” said locals.
“When we (locals) questioned him about it, he said that his staff is attending a training programme at IMPA, and he himself cannot take samples,” locals alleged.
“No sample was taken from the shop, and it was only after our protests that he closed down the shop,” they said, adding, “and look for yourself, the shop is open today and doing the business as usual.”
When contacted, Assistant Commissioner Food Safety, Hilal Ahmad Mir told ‘Kashmir Images’, “I have no idea that the shop is open, but I will check and get back to you!”
This is not the first time when shops selling adultered food items were closed down by the authorities and the same authorities then allowed them to run their business as usual.
Following instructions from Divisional Commissioner’s Office here, on February 22 this year, a team of Food Safety sleuths along-with officials of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) department together with Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Hanief Ahmed Balki, conducted marketing checking during which one ‘Naya Darbar’ and ‘Chocolate Box’ were found operating in insanitary conditions. They also found ‘Yamini Biryani Point’ selling expired juices, following which all the three eateries in Karan Nagar area were sealed, sources revealed.
“All these shops were closed down by DFO team, however, very next day all three were seen again doing their business as usual,” said they.
When asked how the shops resumed their business next day, Assistant Commissioner Food Safety said “we didn’t seize any of the shop as nothing adultered was found at these eateries.”
However, Health Officer SMC, Dr Sameena Maqbool, who was part of this marketing checking team told this newspaper that the “SMC also collected fine of Rs 19,700 from these eateries for their unhygienic conditions and Mir was asked by SDM not only to destroy adultered foods but immediately close down these shops, which he did.”
On February 24, market checking was again conducted by team of DFO, SMC along with Tehsildar Srinagar. This time again, three beef shops were closed down at Parimpora Fruit Mandi here. The DFO team not only seized beef from these shops but also closed them down
However, when the reporter visited these the next day at the Fruit Mandi, they too were found doing business as usual.
Assistant Commissioner Food Safety Srinagar when confronted with this query, said, “No such raid was ever conducted.”
But again, Food Safety Officer of SMC refuted Mir saying “the shops were closed in presence of Tehsildar Srinagar and herself by the DFO team after samples of beef collected from there warranted such action.”
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr Asgar H. Samoon, said he will take the matter with the concerned authorities and whosoever is found guilty will be punished as per the law.