Palike faces severe shortage of food inspectors

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, which is required by law to keep a tab on the quality of food served by roadside vendors, is facing a severe shortage of personnel to monitor food standards in the City.

To cover an area of 800 sq km, the BBMP has only six food inspectors. According to BBMP sources in its Health department, while it is the job of the health inspectors, albeit partially, to keep an eye on unhygienic food, most of them are hand-in-glove with the vendors. “It is quite hard to keep note of their (health inspectors) activities,” said a Palike official.
With diseases such as dengue and chikungunya rampant in the City, people are concerned about the water used in these food stalls.

Allaying the fears, BBMP Chief Health Officer L T Gayathri said the Palike is closely watching the vendors.

However, she admitted that the Palike had no set policy to test the quality of food. “It is partly because of the absence of a chief chemist to test the quality of food samples,” she said.

Repeated correspondences with the Government has yielded nothing more than promises over the past few months. “Even after two to three letters  there was no reply on providing us with a chief chemist. But, two days ago the Government agreed to provide us with one,” said Gayathri.

Further, representation has been made by the Health department to the Commissioner over employing more food inspectors for the core City. “The newly-added areas to the BBMP are being looked after by the State government. We are asking for 40 new food inspectors for the old BBMP jurisdiction of 100 wards,” said Gayathri.
BBMP sources state that the representation has now gone to the Government who will appoint the new personnel through the Karnataka Public Service Commission examinations.
DH News Service

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