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On-spot testing vans keeping check on food adulteration

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Srinagar, Jan 21: To check food adulteration, the Drug and Food Control Organisation (DFCO) claims to have made four Mobile Food Testing Vans functional in Kashmir division.

According to a government report, five well-equipped vans have been procured through J&K Medical Supplies Corporation in 2017-2018.

Besides, Rs 6 crore was released for strengthening the existing Food Testing Laboratories at Jammu and Srinagar in 2016-17.

 

The van comes fully equipped with gadgets such as a milk analyser, hot air oven, hot plate, mixer grinder, digital weighing scale, power generator, air conditioner, and many more.

These vans are used to tests common adulterants in milk, water, edible oils, and other food items, and make it possible to draw on-the-spot samples and generate instant reports of the analysis.

The vans make rounds of city and other districts to collect samples for quality tests.

Moreover, the department has deputed a mobile food testing team consists of a food safety officer, lab technician, and a van driver to handle the vans.

“We have a food safety officer, technician and a driver. We don’t need more staff for these vans,” said Deputy Commissioner Food Safety Kashmir, Irfana Ahmed.

As per her, four vans are functional in Kashmir division, running on different routes and districts.

“We have vans at the division level. We are sending these vans to different districts and are also covering different areas of the city. Recently, we have sent these food testing vans to Jawahar Nagar, Raj Bagh and Parimpora. People who want to test the food products can test freely with the help of these vans,” she said.

Jammu and Kashmir Drug Controller, Lotika Khajuria, said, “The mobile food testing vans have been kept for surveillance and awareness. One van has been provided by food safety authority of India. Three are procured by state government.”

She said they depute these vehicles to check sale of substandard food items in markets.

“These vans check milk products, spices, edible oils, and colouring agents. If substandard food is found, our inspectors carry out crackdowns. These vans are not run daily, but we have chalked out a timetable for them,” she said.

The mobile vans, as per FSSAI, are meant to strengthen the country’s food testing infrastructure and “enhance surveillance activities and outreach even in far-flung areas”.


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Kashmir

Shift vendors from Parimpora bus stand: Div Com to officers

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Srinagar, March 26: In order to decongest Parimpora Bus Stand, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir directed SDA, SMC, Traffic Police and RTO to start intense drive immediately and shift all registered road side vendors to the new vending zones.
The Divisional Commissioner passed this direction while reviewing various issues of transporters and commuters at Parimpora Bus Stand.
Div Com directed Traffic and Police officers to ensure that unregistered vendors do not enter the new vending zones and violators be dealt strictly as per the law.
Other issues of Parimpora bus stand were also discussed threadbare in the meeting.
The Divisional Commissioner asked Deputy Commissioner Srinagar to personally visit the Parimpora Bus stand next week and submit the report to the Divisional Commissioner’s office.
The Divisional Commissioner stressed all concerned officers to work with close coordination and dedication so that all bottlenecks of Parimpora Bus stand will be removed immediately so thatcommuters and transporters do not have inconvenience.
Additional Commissioner Kashmir Tasaduq Hussain Mir, VC SDA, Chief Engineer R&B, RTO Kashmir, Police, Traffic, SMC and other concerned officers were present in the meeting.

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Kashmir

After 70 years, Langate village gets electricity

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Srinagar, Mar 26: After 70 years, Madwah village of Nowgam in north Kashmir’s Langate area of Kupwara district got electricity connection for the first time. The region was deprived of power supply since India achieved independence and J&K acceded to India.
This comes days after the Power Development Department (PDD) department received Saubhagya award for hundred percent electrification in the state.
Locals told Kashmir News Service (KNS), “It is like Eid for us. Even after more than 70 years there had been no electricity here. Earlier also we had approached the concerned officials, MLAs etc but no one heard us. Finally we got it. No senior official ever visited our village,” they said.
The locals thank the Executive Engineer of Power Development Department (PDD) Farooq Ahmad for delivering and fulfilling their decades old demand.
“We have seen electricity in our houses after 70 years. Now the electric bulb is lighting in my house. It is like Eid,” said an elderly, Ghulam Hassan.
Another elderly man said the last senior official of the government had visited our village some 33 years ago. “It was some 33 years ago, a senior officer of the government had come here…if my memory serves me right. Since then we haven’t seen anyone except few politicians who visit us during election time,” he recalled.
In March last year, the Government of India had stated that out of 18,452 villages in India that were power deprived 3 years ago, 17,181 have been electrified. Others are uninhabited or classified as grazing reserves.
However, Bijli is the first basic amenity the government has provided this village. The villagers say they still have demands of road and clean drinking water. “We hope the roads and drinking water will be provided sooner than later. It should not take another 70 years,” the villagers demanded.
According to KNS correspondent, the overall functioning of government run institutions is the village paints a very grim picture.
“Since no one visits to monitor what is happening in this village. So every lower rung employee working here are at their own will. The teachers’ open and close school at their own will. One day in this month only, the school was opened at 3:30 and closed at 4PM. This is how things work here. It is all happening because of absence of proper monitoring,” the locals said.

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12 lakh Tulip bulbs planted in Asia’s largest Tulip garden this year

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Srinagar, March 26: The floriculture department has planted 12 lakh Tulip bulbs of different varieties and colours in Asia’s largest Tulip garden that will be thrown open for the visitors soon.
Director Floriculture Dr. Hafeez Shah said that the opening of Tulip Garden was delayed due to inclement weather conditions and will be thrown open soon for the visitors here.
He added that 12 lakh tulip bulbs of different varieties have been planted while as the lights have also been installed this year to ensure the garden would remain open till later hours of the visitors.
“I wish the people from all nooks and corner will visit the garden,” he added.
Furthermore, Shah said that a plantation drive was launched on the Arbors day here and the target of planting 15500 will also be achieved.
He added that Chinar and other saplings were planted at many places. “I visited many places Anantnag including Sherbagh, Sherpora, Achabal and other places where saplings were planted. We hope the target of 15500 will be achieved till March 15,” he added.

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