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Raid reveals bitter truth behind sweets

Jamshedpur, Nov. 10: In a major pre-Diwali raid, adulterated milk products were seized by the East Singhbhum district administration today.

District food inspector Krishna Prasad Singh and his team, subdivisional officer (Dhalbhum) Subodh Kumar, Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee inspector Ayodhya Singh and Sakchi police station officer in-charge Bijay Kumar raided a two-storied mawa (a milk product used for making sweets) manufacturing unit at Line Number 3 in Kasidih around 11.30am.

On October 30 The Telegraph had reported that the district administration planned to raid sweet shops ahead of Diwali to check adulteration.

The raid, which continued for more than three hours, had the food inspector collecting samples of two varieties of mawa, also known as khoya, milk powder and milk cakes. The samples were dispatched to the food testing lab at Namkum, Ranchi. Owner of the unit Narayan Prasad Agarwal was being questioned till the time of filing this report.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Krishna Prasad Singh said the test reports from Ranchi would be available within a fortnight.

“We had received a tip-off about adulteration at this Kasidih unit, which is a major supplier to different sweet shops in the steel city. We have been raiding sweet shops since November 8 and had collected information about this unit,” said the official.

He added that nearly four quintals of mawa, four kilograms of milk powder and a kilogram of milk cakes had been seized.

“If the samples are found injurious to health, a hefty fine of anything between Rs 25,000 and Rs 2 lakh will be imposed on the owner,” the food inspector said.

However, the reports from the food testing lab would be submitted to East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Himani Pande and legal action can be initiated with her consent.

“In order to make huge profits, local traders and sweet makers use substandard products, leaving consumers vulnerable to ailments. Not only adulteration, but chemicals, artificial colours and aluminium are also used in the sweet-making process,” said additional chief medical officer of East Singhbhum Swarn Singh.