The Bombay High Court has recently directed the state government to procure more mobile milk testing vans to curb the rising problem of milk adulteration. The problem occurred due to the fact that there are only four such vans that are currently working for people.
A division bench of justices Naresh Patil and A Sayed said, “This is very disturbing. The government will have to come up with a policy to increase the number of mobile vans, which will have to be fitted with GPS tracking system to help gather their whereabouts at the earliest. “The court was surprised to know that only one mobile van was deputed in Mumbai. It said, “For a city like Mumbai, where the population is over a crore, how can you have only one van? The number has to be increased.”
This step was taken after the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by retired Colonel Chandra Shekhar Unni. He claimed that the authorities were not acting as per law and milk drinkers, especially the children, were at a major risk.
The authenticity of this petition relied on a survey conducted by NGO Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, which claimed that of the 33,000 surveyed families, around 46 per cent received below-standard milk. The petition prayed that the authorities exercised the Legal Metrology Act of 2009, and took immediate action against the errant suppliers.
Meanwhile, the food and drug administration (FDA) has also been directed by the court to inform about the steps taken by the government in order to curb adulteration of other edible products such as oil/ghee and fruits. The FDA filed an affidavit enumerating the steps it has taken to curb milk adulteration. Among the many steps is a helpline number to receive complaints about adulteration and, on a pilot basis, deployment of mobile testing vans.
Source: Daily News & Analysis