The environmental activist and lawyer, Subhas Dutta, filed a Public Interest Litigation – demanding judicial involvement at the Calcutta High Court. In his words, “West Bengal is a paradise of food adulteration”. We have recently seen that his words are 100% true in respect to ‘food safety and checking’ by government officials.
He has presented some statistics before the court regarding activities of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). His allegations are targeted to the government of West Bengal that did not take enough care for ‘Food Safety’ and ‘Food Quality’, and ultimately West Bengal went down in the last position as per the statistical list of FSSAI.
Subhas Dutta gave some statistical examples – in the year 2014-2015 Maharashtra food safety officials tested 6,985 food samples; while at the same time officials in West Bengal food safety department tested only 120 food samples. Maharashtra scored with 16.64% for food adulteration, while West Bengal scored with more than 50%.
Mr. Dutta also told that the current penalty for food adulteration in West Bengal was ridiculous. He presented that there was a huge disparity in penalty prohibition act in West Bengal. In the year 2014-2015, the total fines in Maharashtra was Rs.165 lakh; while for the same period, total penalty in West Bengal was only Rs.30,000.
The police arrested Biswajit Gharai, owner of a cold storage at ‘Narkeldanga’ in Kolkata where huge quantity of rotten meat were recovered in plastic packets.
In another raid, Kausar Ali Dhali of Bashirhat escaped of the hand of police much before the police reached his ‘Dhali Chicken Centre’ near NewTown, Rajarhat. The police till date have not yet traced Kausar Ali Dhali. The police suspected that he might have skipped into Bangladesh crossing the border.
Those incidents might be the tip of the iceberg. There may be more big rackets for ‘food-adulteration’ in West Bengal. Those who were caught by the police may resume a penalty for Rs.2000 and 6 months imprisonment or something like that.
But, the problem is that those found guilty in supplying and selling through several restaurants in West Bengal should be kept aside from the society for the whole life. This law is usually implemented in UK, but now Indian government must implement it to eradicate ‘food-adulteration’ from the country, otherwise citizens of India will be compelled to swallow poison through their daily food.