Acid, of different concentration level, is being sold in the city without identifying buyers, violating the apex court guidelines.
Hindustan Times reporter bought at least four bottles of acid from different areas of the city, including Mohit Nagar, Saharanpur Chowk, Govindgarh and Ballupur-Canal Road, on Tuesday without having to show an identity card (see grapics). Acid is being sold for as less as `20 a litre in local markets.
When asked about the open sale of acid despite a ban, a shopkeeper in Khurbura area told HT, “A lot of people still prefer to use acid over branded toilet cleaners, which is why we are forced to keep them.”
In 2013, the Supreme Court of India had asked the states to ban over-the-counter sale of acid. Subsequently, the Union home ministry directed the states to ensure a ban on unauthorized sale of acid, requiring licensed shopkeepers to maintain a register on sale of acid and personal details - including name, address, age and purpose of purchase - of the buyer. On January 13, 2015, the state issued notification of Uttarakhand Poisons (Possession and Sale) Rules 2014, which bans unauthorised sale of acid/corrosive substances in the state.
City magistrate Lalit Narayan Mishra said the administration was awaiting receipt of guidelines from the government on sale of acid. Dermatologist and cosmetologist Dr Tarun Mittal said acids being sold in the form of loose toilet cleaners can be equally harmful as acids in their original concentration.