After raiding retail outlets in the city for the sale of gutka, next on the Food and Drug administration (FDA) target list are the mobile vendors outside city bars and pubs.
According to a senior FDA official, “Usually many tea and coffee vendors on cycles and foot are spotted outside pubs and bars. Some of them also sell gutka and cigarette packets. After seizing banned products from retail stores, the next step involves these mobile vendors.”
And, the FDA seems to have taken this role seriously. After the ban was announced on July 20, 129 more establishments have been raided in five city areas. “Out of these, banned items worth Rs 4,36,175 were seized in four of the establishments,” said Suresh Deshmukh, joint commissioner food, FDA.
So far, the food safety officers have raided Ghatkopar, CST, Bandra, Juhu and Santacruz. “We will continue the drive and keep a watch on mobile vendors outside bars and pubs,” said Deshmukh.
Sunday Mid Day had reported earlier about how the food safety officers seized gutka packets worth Rs 1.20 lakh from a vendor’s residence in Ghatkopar.
Banned for a year
In a bid to safeguard their decision to ban gutka and pan masala in the state, the Food and Drug Administration had filed a caveat in the Bombay High Court last week. Immediately after this, last Friday the ministry passed a resolution that the gutka will be banned for the next one year.
Did you know?
There is a ban on gutka in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Kerala, while Maharashtra is the first state to ban both, gutka and pan masala.