SRINAGAR, May 10:
Despite the High Court directions to implement all provisions of Food Safety & Standards Act 2006, the state government has over the years failed to act in this regard.
Sources told Early Times that two qualified doctors and 14 food inspectors were first notified for Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) and Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC). They were designated as Health Officers and Food safety Officers respectively, and then de-notified forthwith.
“There is a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and its proceedings have been stayed by the Supreme Court. Though High Court gave its judgment in the interest of public health, but the government machinery is least bothered about it,” said sources.
Sources quoting the Food Safety Commissioner (FSC) said that there is a dearth of well-trained, educated and well qualified persons which is a requirement for the implementation of Food Safety Standard (FSS) Act provisions, adding that there is a lack of funds and infra-structure for the operation too.
“The first step of the Commissioner Food safety was that he divested two Health Officers (Qualified doctors) deputed for Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) and Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) of their function as designated officers,” said sources.
Sources said that instead of two qualified officers, two less qualified Food Inspectors (turned Assistant Commissioner and designated officers) were given the big responsibility to function.
“These two were previously working as Food Inspectors and later they were given the title of Assistant Commissioner Food, and then Designated Officer accordingly which is a sheer injustice with the professionals,” sources said.
Sources said that there are 14 Food safety Officers who have rendered their services as Food Inspectors and are active from past 20 years in Srinagar and Jammu urban locality. Time and again they were de-notified which means that they will be no more able to perform any duty under FSS Act for checking Food adulteration etc.
Sources said that after analyzing from every point it seems that injudicious decision has been taken place, because there is lack of man power as averred by Commissioner Food himself. Making 14 experienced food safety officers/food Inspectors as functionless and replacing professional Doctors (Health Officer) was never in the interest of public health.
While as it has also come to fore that such step is prejudiced and biased because Health & Medical Education Department has connived with the food inspectors of his own department, sources added.