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LMC to take ice-cream bulls by horn

THE LUCKNOW MUNICIPAL Corporation is planning a joint crackdown against ice-cream mafiosi hawking substandard candies around the city without proper licences, quality ingredients and standard norms.

india Updated: May 22, 2006 01:00 IST

THE LUCKNOW MUNICIPAL Corporation is planning a joint crackdown against ice-cream mafiosi hawking substandard candies around the city without proper licences, quality ingredients and standard norms.

Sixty out of 80 ice- cream factories are without licences, say LMC sources and admit that the ‘city has a close-knit ice-cream lobby which often manages to escape action by pulling strings.

The lobby is so powerful that no one in the LMC Health Department musters courage to taking action against such units. “We know that such factories are great danger. But, we can’t do anything alone,” says an official, drawing attention to the “intimidating presence of ice-cream lobby.

“These factories are a direct threat to city’s health. Most of these factories prepare their products in filthy lanes, stinking vessels, and giving no thought to personal hygiene. The raw material used by them is of poor quality. Most of them are very powerful people they have good connections in the government, but we have decided to take them head-on because LMC has to take the blame if anything goes wrong,” said an official of LMC health department.

Giving the reason of going slow on these ice cream factories he added, “Our employees work in unsafe conditions. They are demoralised because the administration never backs up our good efforts. If we go to seize such non- licenced factories or shops we are mistreated by traders. They level false allegations against our officials. Yesterday traders in the old city manhandled one of our staff members. Last week our squad was chased away by the ice cream factory owners, when the former asked for the licence. A few days ago, the traders in Chowk ill-treated one of our food and sanitary inspectors, but the police failed to act against the traders. In such conditions how can we seize these ice cream factories in a one go?”

Nagar Swasthya Adhikari BBS Rathore was upset when he visited one such factory (operating without licence) in Alambagh area. He was unhappy to see the unhygienic preparation sold in big quantity.

Rathore says, “ We give licences only to those factories, which fulfill our norms, provide proper hygienic condition, sanitary condition, keep the premises neat and clean and maintain personal hygiene of staff. It is mandatory to use standard cream, milk, colours and essence. Lab test of the preparation and medical checkup of the staff are essential.”

“We have prepared the list of factories which are operating without licence. They would be fined and asked to follow the LMC norms,” Rathore says.
“I want the administration and CMO officials to accompany our staff in the operation against such ice-cream factories, so that power lobby of traders doesn’t get a chance to level false charges against our staff. I have written to the municipal commissioner to have a talk with the district administration for the joint action against such ice-cream factories.”

Officials of Lucknow Municipal Corporation health department are worried over the presence of large number of non licensed ice cream factories in the city.