Jammu Tawi, April 18
In a significant move towards further strengthening the State Food & Drug Control Organization (F&DCO), the Government has procured five fully equipped Mobile Food Testing Laboratories (Vans) with a cost of Rs. 31 lakh each. Out of these five Mobile laboratories, two each will be deployed in Kashmir and Jammu Divisions and one will be deployed in Ladakh region.
Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Bhagat dedicated these Mobile Vans to the D&FCO at an impressive Flag Off ceremony held here today. Presiding Officer of Food Safety Appellate Tribunal, M.K. Hanjura, Controller D&FCO, Lotika Khajuria, Managing Director, Jammu & Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Ltd, Dr. Yashpal Sharma, Director Health Services, Jammu, Dr. Gurjeet Singh Soodan and all senior functionaries of the D&FCO were present on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that it is endeavor of the Government to ensure wholesome food articles to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for which the D&FCO, which is the regulatory authorities for checking the menace of adulteration in the food articles, shall be strengthened and equipped with all modern gadgets. The procurement of five Mobile Testing Laboratories is a step towards empowering the authorities. Congratulating the Controller D&FCO and her staff for having these facilities, the Minister said that the Mobile Labs will help in reaching out to every corner of the State and undertaking spot testing of food articles. This will also help in generating greater awareness amongst the consumers about the safe food articles. He called for optimum use of the facilities to achieve the objective of providing quality food products to the consumers. Maintaining that the D&FCO which has a very special and sensitive role to play, the Minister said that the organization is not only representative of the government, but entire society is depending on it, therefore every functionary must work with utmost responsiveness and honesty to maintain its credibility. He assured to take all necessary possible steps to further strengthen the organization in spheres enabling it to deliver as per the expectations of the society. He called for stepping up the awareness campaign through different mediums to educate the masses about the food safety standards. Lotika Khajura briefed the Minister about the features and benefits of the Mobile Food Testing Labs and said that the facility will help in ensuring stringent regulatory control across the State over food business operators dealing with processing and distribution of food articles in the market for mass consumption. She said the topography of Jammu and Kashmir badly required such facility to counter the challenges posed by the adulteration, especially of milk and milk products, edible oils and condiments and spices. This will help in restoring the public confidence, transparency and accountability among the empowered functionaries.