Officials check items at a shop in Tambaram
Teams search 84 shops near schools, colleges
As many as 300 officials conducted a series of raids to unearth paan masala and gutka across the State on Friday.
In Chennai, the Food Safety Department on Friday seized over 400 kg of banned substance, including from two godowns. Four teams raided 84 shops in areas surrounding 26 schools and colleges in the city. The areas covered included Alwarpet; Tenynampet; Peter’s Road in Royapettah, Gopalapuram; Cathedral Road; Poes Garden area; Mannadi; Sowcarpet; and Koyambedu.
A raid on a godown on Varadamuthaiappan Street in Sowcarpet yielded around 400 kg of the banned substance. “The substance was being transported from North India. We have sent samples to the King Institute in Guindy for testing,” an official said.
Eight bags of chips packets kept in unsanitary conditions were also seized. So far, the raid covered around 100 schools. The raids will continue till all schools were covered, officials said.
Though the department conducted regular raids, it had no provision to fine them. “The raids are only control measures. We forward the results of the sample to the police for further action,” the official said.
In Tambaram, 10 kg of prohibited items, such as paan masala packed in sachets, were seized. More than 350 bottles of cold beverage, which did not bear any details and rotten eggs stored for sale were destroyed.
Officials also found food items that officials described as ‘substandard and injurious to health’.
The raid in Tambaram was conducted by A. Ramakrishnan, designated officer of Kancheepuram district and Tambaram food safety officer R. Velavan.
Results of earlier raid
Police sources said the forensic test on chocolates, said to be laced with some drug, had been completed and the results would be sent to the court as it is confidential. “In the last one week more than 500 people have been arrested for selling banned products in over 12 police districts in the city,” said a senior police officer.
The police have seized more than 175 kg of ganja, 1,292 packets ofmaava and 10,681 packets of other tobacco products.