FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, Aug 20: An awareness programme-cum-meeting on Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, has been organized by the District Legal Services Authority, Cachar, at the ADR centre here today. The objective behind the programme was to highlight various issues related to food security, price and proper distribution of essential commodities and spread a message that consumers in trouble could take the help of DLSA.
In his iugural speech, Dr Mahmud Hussain Barbhuiya, judicial officer and secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Cachar, said, “It is a great opportunity for us to interact with Suraj Jaman Choudhury, a desigted officer of the office of the joint-director, health services. But, it is surprising to note that there is only one desigted officer for the Food and Safety Office in the valley.”
Enlightening about the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, Suraj Jaman Choudhury said, “Earlier, the Act was known as Prevention of Food Adulteration which was modified in 2006. Substandard food items are injurious, harmful and can also prove to be fatal even if consumed in small quantity. In order to check selling of such items, samples are collected and sent to the food alyst and desigted officers for ensuring its quality.”
He further said that there are laws pertaining to sale of poor and substandard food items and water.
He informed that at present there is shortage of food security officers which makes it difficult to survey and inspect various shops and business establishments of the valley. It has been found by many customers that the milk, tea, mineral water, ice-creams, pulses they consume, have been of low and cheap quality. Suraj Jaman Choudhury has assured to take immediate steps if reported. “But, at present the shortage in the number of officers has badly affected the proper functioning of our department. Presently, there are samples of more than 16 food items lying in our office for getting clearance. They are samples of rice, mustard oil, milk, curd and masoor dal,” he added.
Throwing more light on the Act, Biru Bora, food and civil supply officer, said, “The statute regulates the supply of essential commodities through government agencies and cooperative societies so as to reach the benefit to the people at large.”
Among other resource persons present in the meeting included, D R Singh, Rajib Das, inspectors, food and civil supply department.