Gutkha worth Rs 8 lakh seized in city | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Gutkha worth Rs 8 lakh seized in city

The state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has seized stocks of gutkha and paan masala worth more than Rs 8 lakh in the city and Rs58 lakh in the state in the last week.

mumbai Updated: Jul 31, 2012 01:47 IST
Prachi Pinglay

The state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has seized stocks of gutkha and paan masala worth more than Rs 8 lakh in the city and Rs58 lakh in the state in the last week.

The FDA has been carrying out inspections since the state government issued a notification last week banning sale, distribution and manufacturing of gutkha and paan masala in the state from July 20.

As on July 25, the FDA had inspected 302 premises and seized gutkha worth Rs8.59 lakh from 16 premises in Mumbai. In Thane, 680 premises were searched and gutkha worth Rs11.27 lakh was seized from 9 premises. Inspections were also carried out in Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur. The highest amount of gutkha — Rs20.46 lakh — was seized from Nagpur.

“The on-ground inspection has been going very well and we have managed to take action against many vendors. The action will have a positive impact on public health,” said Mahesh Zagade, FDA commissioner.

More than 208 food safety inspectors have been taking action statewide against persons selling gutkha or paan masala, officials said. The state had attempted to ban gutkha twice earlier — in 2002 and then in 2008 — but encountered several legal hurdles.

Activists and doctors said the action was required to dissuade children from consuming gutkha. “Gutkha and paan masala are sold openly and are placed at the eye level of children. They are also packaged attractively and sold for Re 1 or Rs 2. Children can easily get addicted,” said Devika Chadha, programme director, Salaam Bombay Foundation.