Traders give LMC nightmares!
ABOUT 60 per cent city traders don?t have PFA (Prevention of Food Adulteration Act) licences and are yet selling cold drinks, thanks to the trader-mafia nexus weighing heavy on them. Four attacks on Lucknow Municipal Corporation squads by traders in 20 days are enough to tell what?s scared the LMC sleuths nowadays.india Updated: May 11, 2006 00:09 IST
ABOUT 60 per cent city traders don’t have PFA (Prevention of Food Adulteration Act) licences and are yet selling cold drinks, thanks to the trader-mafia nexus weighing heavy on them.
Four attacks on Lucknow Municipal Corporation squads by traders in 20 days are enough to tell what’s scared the LMC sleuths nowadays.
Whatever, in the trader-LMC tussle, the common man is the sufferer and continues to live under the threat of jaundice and dropsy in the absence of proper check on adulterated stuff.
According to a higher official of LMC health department the food inspectors are afraid of collecting samples from the shops. They know well which trader is adulterating, which item but they are helpless as traders are well connected to the ministers and local mafia.
Last year after the outbreak of dropsy the LMC staff was held hostage by the traders of Narhi, who was allegedly close to an MP of the ruling party. The trader leader guided whole operation against the LMC team and helped the trader remove all stocks of adulterated oil.
However, traders accuse LMC officials of harassing them on the name of sample collection. “They mint money in the name of issuing licences and collecting samples,” said a trader of Chowk Udyog Vyapar Mandal.
President of Chowk Vyapar Mandal Arun Mishra was accused of roughing up a sanitary and food Inspector Dilip Kumar Dey on Tuesday as the later was allegedly demanding money.
Dey alleged, “The shopkeepers were demanding that the LMC issued a single licence for eating joints, and grocery shops ( who sell cold drinks) whereas present LMC bylaws state that two licences be issued for any eating joint, and other shops that is one for the shop and other under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA).”
“Mishra demanded that traders must be given a single licence for an eating joint, and grocery shop instead of two separate ones. I wanted to go by the regulations. And they treated my like an animal.”
Nagar Swasthya Adhikari BBS Rathore said, “Sixty per cent of grocery shops selling soft drinks have not got LMC licence under the PFA. When we ask them to apply for the licences, we are threatened by their leaders. We asked for security whenever our food inspectors go to collect samples, we are forced to collect the samples of branded items instead of local items which are sold by traders.”
Municipal commissioner VP Singh tried to play down the matter and said, “Our food inspectors have collected 75 food samples last month. They have conducted some aggressive operations against the adulterators. Some incidents are bound to happen. But this should not dampen the spirits of the LMC food inspectors.”