Residents have been left with no choice but to consume adulterated milk and that too at exorbitant rates, it came to the fore as the recent survey by the district dairy development department found that over 67% of the samples tested failed to meet standards.
The report stated that out of the 316 samples tested between April 1 and July 31 only 74 met the stipulated standards. As many as 242 samples were reported to be adulterated.
Dairy development department inspector Charanjt Singh said it was learnt that the 242 samples were diluted with 10-40% water.
The inspector told HT that the samples, which had been collected from all over the district during an awareness camp organised recently by the dairy department, were adulterated with water and no other chemical content had been found.
Saying that water diluted important nutrients like fat and solid non-fat (SNF), Singh claimed that impure milk was sold at higher rate. He said pure milk containing 10% fat and 8.8% SNF cost around Rs. 55-60 per litre while it was noticed that the adulterated buffalo-milk had 4% fat and 6% SNF cost only`20-22 per litre. If it is cow’s milk, it costs much less, he said.
According to a dairy owner in Sirhind, impure milk having 10-40% water content was often sold for Rs. 20-22 per litre, but a many milkmen were selling it at Rs. 40 or 45 per litre.
Though the dairy department claims to have been checking milk samples regularly, the practice of mixing water with milk has been going on unabated.
Meanwhile, Singh said the report of had already been forwarded to the deputy commissioner and the health department and action will be initiated against such milkmen.
Similarly, Fatehgarh Sahib district health officer (DHO) Dr Avinash Kumar said they had also collected 12 random samples from across the district between April 1 and July 31 in which 8 samples had failed to meet the standards. He also said that notices had been sent to the offenders and cases had been referred to the additional deputy commissioner (ADC) who would impose a fine on them. He further said that major cases had been referred to the chief judicial magistrate (CJM).