The food testing laboratory in Namkum, Ranchi
Too many cooks spoil the broth. But, when its comes to putting the safety seal on edibles, enough workforce is essential.
With festivities lined up, the state health department is once again making efforts to hire permanent workers at Jharkhand’s lone food testing laboratory in Namkum, Ranchi.
A similar attempt was made last year, but the department met with poor response, as it did not have a proper roster and other recruitment rules in place. State food controller T.P. Burnwal, however, hopes that this time they will be able to break the jinx.
At present, there is one principal scientist for testing the samples and four other employees. All of them work on contract basis. “Naturally, the work pressure is more,” Burnwal pointed out.
According to the recruitment advertisement published by the department on Thursday, as many as 10 permanent employees will be inducted. Recruitment will be made in the posts of microbiologist (1), senior analyst (1), certificate officer (2), certificate assistant (3), laboratory assistant (2) and laboratory office staff (1).
Except for the posts of microbiologist and senior analyst, all other designations will have at least one seat reserved for scheduled caste candidates.
“This rule did not exist earlier, which was the bone of contention for permanent hiring. A couple of new posts have also been created like that of the certificate assistant,” said Burnwal, adding they would receive applications till September 20 after which interview dates would be announced.
In the upcoming festive season, the officials will collect random samples of milk, sweets and other edible items both prior and during celebrations.
“What usually happens is that the lab picks up samples during the festivals and results are declared later. It doesn’t make sense, as by that time people already consume the items and fall sick. The idea is to rectify this system. Let’s see if we can do it,” said an official.
Launched in 2009, the lab has been lying shut for nearly two years due to myriad problems. It was re-opened in 2012, but has been facing staff crunch and other logistical challenges.