Updated: March 2, 2020 10:40:36 pm
The Shiromani Akali Dal on Monday urged the state government to take serious note of alleged adulteration of food items taking place across the state.
Drawing the attention of the Minister for Health and Family Welfare Balbir Sidhu, SAD MLA Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra alleged that food items laced with chemicals were being sold in the state and that this was playing havoc with the health of residents and causing diseases such as cancer.
“Those who are involved in this business are preparing fake items of food by using mixed refined oil, detergent, urea, acid etc to concoct food items. Fruits and vegetables are also being injected with substances which ensure that they ripen fast,” he said.
The MLA demanded that the state government should take a serious note of the matter and take action against those involved in this trade.
In his reply, the minister, Balbir Sidhu, said that the food safety wing of the health department regularly conducts surprise raids and takes food samples in order to detect adulteration. He revealed that out of 8,697 food samples taken for checking in Punjab in 2019, 6,901 were found to be safe, 1,725 were sub-standard and 71 were found to be unsafe.
He also said that in 2019, as many as 2,008 cases had been registered against the offenders and Rs 3.30 crore fine had been recovered from them.
AAP raises pending scholarship dues
In a Calling Attention Motion, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Barnala legislator, Meet Hayer, highlighted the issue of the non-payment of post-matric scholarships dues to the SC category of students.
Hayer said that around three lakh students belonging to the SC category in the state were affected due to the non-payment of post-matric scholarships by the government.
He said that despite having the highest number of Dalits in Punjab, as percentage of voters, they were not getting their dues nor were their complaints being heard. He lamented that the students of the community were at the receiving end due to non-payment of scholarship funds to colleges as a majority of them were not given roll numbers for exams by the colleges and educational institutions.
He said that in 2019, the roll numbers had been released to the students on after dharnas had been staged by the AAP in Barnala. He claimed that the same situation was anticipated this year as well.
Hayer demanded that the government should issue instructions to all educational institutes in this regard so that the post-matric beneficiaries students were not subjected to face any problem on that account.
In response to the question raised by the AAP MLA, Minister of State for Education Sadhu Singh Dharmasot, quoting a letter of the Union government, assured him that the instructions had already been issued to all educational institutions not to withhold roll numbers of any students.
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