Srinagar, Jan 11: In view of the consumers’ high intake of certain substances, the state government is going to customise the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines to meet the regional requirements.
The FSSAI recently decided to revise its labelling regulations by including mandatory declaration of total fat, added sugar, salt, trans fat and energy per serving by a fast food outlet.
It framed this rule to address people about High Fat, Sugar and Salt (HFSS) in foods to keep them aware about its associated health risks.
A case study done by the FSSAI in this regard has found that the Kashmiri dishes were comprising salt in huge concentration, which they considered adverse to health.
It found that huge concentration of the sodium has been found in the excreta samples of people here.
Assistant Commissioner Food Safety, Srinagar Hilal Mir said they would implement this order on those outlets running near schools and colleges premises.
“We will direct these outlets to display a board, which will tell about amount of ingredient in every dish,” he said.
He said that they have been largely concentrating on the sanitation part of the restaurants and other food outlets in the valley.
“We have fined almost 150 outlets recently, which were using chemicals and other health risk posing agents in their food. Besides, our team does visit to various places to keep a check on the sanitation by the restaurants,” Mir said.
As per sources, the Drug and Food Control Organisations (DFCO), has found more than 1000 samples food samples substandard or unsafe in Kashmir during last year.
“It mostly included the fast food, confectionery and then small eatery outlets in Srinagar. Every year scores of such items are ceased by the department who face fine and challan,” they said.
Sources also said that the food laws are not being strictly implemented in the valley despite the mushrooming of fast food and street food outlets across Kashmir.
“On November 17 last year, 13 outlets were fined in Srinagar for selling unhygienic food. It gives an idea how much substandard food is served by these outlets,” they said.
Srinagar Admn to replicate Delhi model for establishing Smart Schools
Srinagar, May 22: After Moholla clinics, the Srinagar district administration is all set to replicate Delhi model for establishing Smart Schools in the summer capital city.
The government has framed a list of 25 schools from the entire district to be identified in the smart school project in a bid to improve the education in the primary and middle schools in the Srinagar city.
“After a study of Delhi model, we’ve taken up 25 Govt schools for a smart school project. Made good use of #BudhaPurnima holiday in gathering the first-hand survey of needs. Students, teachers contributed brilliant ideas. More local suggestions are welcome”, tweeted Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, district development commissioner Srinagar,
Later speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Choudhary said they earlier had sent a team to Delhi where they studied two to three model school both from government and private sector.
“The Idea is to improve the infrastructure in the identified school and the academic part. We are currently focusing on the soft skills including the proper training of teachers and involvement of the community,” he said.
Shahid said that they are going to enhance the capability of students and whatever it will cost they are ready to bear the expenses. “Initially we are starting with Rs five crores for the project,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner noted that they are going to focus on primary and middle schools. “We already have smart higher secondary schools in place but students while reaching to that level have little knowledge of the smart appliances”, he said
“The student-teacher ratio in government school is 1:5 which is quite good while that of private school is 1:22. All we have to do is to make good use of human resource and provide quality education in the government school,” he said.
Around 20 agencies from outside are involved in this project like one who delivers capsules on moral values and skill development.
“We will start career counseling on the primary and secondary level also. Initially 120 schools were selected and undergo certain competition out of which 52 students were selected and out of 52 only 25 were selected,” he said.
The schools selected for the project include Boys Middle School, Gagribal, Boys Middle School Drugjua, Middle School Allochibagh, Girls Midle School Panzinara, Middle School Cheki Mujigund, Middle School Khojabagh, Girls Middle School Boatman Colony, Middle School Kothi Bagh, Middle School ApparPora Balhama, Primary School Gundabal, Middle School Chatterhama, Girls Middle School Buchpora, Middle School Panjkarwari, Boys Middle School Habak, Boys Middle School Hazratbal, Boys Middle School Zakura, Middle School Pamposh Colony, Girls Middle School Ahmad Nagar, Middle School Saida Kadal, Middle School Saderbal, Middle School Daribal, Girls Middle School Soura, Middle School Taploo Muhalla, Hawal, Middle School Khan Muhalla Iddgah, Middle School Q D Pora, Zaldagar.
“The project will be completed within six months of the time period”, Shahid said.
Authorities fail to check the skyrocketing prices of essentials
Srinagar, May 22: Much publicized market checking teams constituted by the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (DFCSCA) have failed to control the steep price-rise of the essential commodities in the holy months of Ramzan.
A kilogram of cabbage is selling at Rs 80 and before Ramzan the vegetable used to sell at Rs 30-40 per kilo. Beans, in most of the valley markets is selling at Rs 100, which is Rs 40 more compared to pre Ramzan days. Prices of rest of the vegetables including tomatoes, potatoes, brinjals and green collard ranges between Rs 40 to Rs 50.
Mutton and chicken rates are no different, which too are sold Rs 10-20 higher than the prescribed rates by the Department of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs.
In Lalchowk, a kilogram of chicken sells at Rs 160, 10 Rs more than the prescribed rate. The rates vary as one heads towards north or south Kashmir where a kilogram of chicken cost up to Rs170.
Being a mutton consuming region, a kilogram of mutton sells at Rs 520-530 throughout the valley. The government prescribed rates stand at Rs 450 per kilogram.
The sudden hike in essentials is leaving the consumer furious, who question the outcome of frequent raids by the authorities.
“This has become a norm for the traders during Ramadan. The concerned department often tours markets but fail to permanently control the prices of essential commodities,” said Muhammad Yaqoob a customer from Srinagar’s Barbarshah area.
Expressing helplessness to control the price hike, Director DFCS&CA, Muhammad Qasim Wani said the closure of the highway mostly paves way for the hike in the essential commodities in Kashmir.
“We charge the offenders who don’t follow our rates. Actually highway has mostly remained closed due to which the vehicles coming from markets of New Delhi and Punjab remain stranded for days together,” he said.
Wani said the department has its teams in the city and almost 15 members in every district to check rates of the essential commodities.
“The local production will be also available in market by next week,” he added.
Family of slain Pattan driver appeals police to speed up probe
Srinagar, May 22: Family of slain driver Jan Mohammad from Mamoosa village, whose body was retrieved from a stream under mysterious circumstances, has appealed the police to speed up the investigation.
Jan Mohammad of Mamossa in Pattan had left for Srinagar on March 22 to collect the money from the owner of the car. Since then, he was missing and eventually his body was retrieved from a stream in Chaenbal area of Pattan on April 4.
Staging protest at Press Enclave, the family members said that police have so far not been able to bring the culprits to book. Jan’s brother, Shabir Ahmad said that the family wants to know who killed their son.
Seeking intervention of Governor Satya Pal Malik and Director General of Police (DGP), Dilbagh Singh, Shabir demanded stern punishment to the killers of his brother.
“We even protested on Srinagar –Baramulla highway. It was after Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Baramulla’s assurance that we called off the protest. He told us that 70% of the investigation has been completed,” he said.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Baramulla, Abdul Qayoom said that the investigation was on.
“The Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the supervision of Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Pattan is probing the case. It would reach to the conclusion, within few days. Jan Mohammad has been murdered, initially a missing report was lodged at Police station Pattan, later that was converted into an FIR,” he said.