Though the district health authorities never hesitate to collect samples of sweets for testing from different sweets shops in the district, yet no action is taken against the guilty.
On the occasion of Diwali on October 17, out of the 102 samples collected in the district, 34 failed to pass the laboratory test, but, instead of taking any action against the defaulters, the health authorities issued them one-month notice giving them an opportunity to apply to the designated officer-cum-DHO for getting their samples retested from the Referral Food Laboratory, Ghaziabad.
When the issue of the lenient attitude of the health department was raised with district health officer (DHO) Surinder Singla, he said, "Everybody has a right to approach the higher authorities. Even a convict can file an appeal in the higher court if he is not satisfied with the decision of the lower court. The offenders have been given an opportunity to get the samples retested if they have any doubt."
When asked whether the health department's report about these samples was doubtful, he said, "We have collected four samples at one time, and if they have any doubt in our report, they should be given an opportunity to get the other three samples tested anywhere else, but I am sure that there is no possibility of corruption in retesting these samples."
He said that the health department has the right to impose a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh on the guilty, which we will do if the samples get failed in another laboratory also."
He, however, refused to give details of the action taken against the defaulters in the past by the health department, saying, "As of now, I don't have any information, I can give the details on Monday."
Deputy commissioner Arshdeep Singh Thind said, "Let me check the report, and then I will study the procedure to take action."