Officials of the state agriculture department seized 3,000-kg 'fake' fertiliser on Sunday from a mini truck at the Kotkapura bypass on the Moga-Muktsar state highway. The officials have impounded the vehicle in which the fertiliser was loaded.
Moga deputy commissioner Parminder Singh Gill said that the agriculture officials intercepted the vehicle on a tip-off.
"The officials' team, which seized the fertiliser, was led by agriculture development officer (ADO) Dr Jaswinder Singh Brar," Gill added.
ADO Brar said, "The bags of fertilizer were covered by a plastic sheet. The owner of the fertiliser Amit Jain could not show any relevant documents regarding the fertiliser."
Dr Brar further revealed that 2,500 kg of the 'fake' fertiliser was manufactured by Shri Ram Fertilisers, Ahmedabad (Gujarat), and 500 kg was manufactured by Global Fertiliser, Ludhiana. "We have taken samples of the seized fertiliser and issued a show cause notice to the manufacturing firms for explaining that how the firms prepared this fertiliser unautorisedly and sent it to Punjab," said Brar.
"There is no permission by the Punjab government, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, and the state agriculture department for manufacture and sale of the type of the fertiliser seized," the ADO added.
The ADO said they have informed the director of agriculture department and other senior officers concerned about the seizure.
"The samples of the feriliser will be sent to the notified government laboratories for examination. "After receiving the test report, the department will take further legal action against the manufacturers," said Brar.
According to the district agriculture department, fake pesticides, fertiliser and insecticides worth hundreds of thousands have been seized the.
The officials said that 6 FIRs had already been registered against those involved in the fake pesticide and fertiliser business. Seven cases are under trial in different courts so far, the ADO said.