“We started taking action from 19 July and have seized gutka worth Rs 85 lakh,” FDA Joint Commissioner S R Kekare said.
FDA Commissioner Mahesh Zagade, who recently visited the city, said till date the department had confiscated gutka worth over Rs 6 crore in the state.
In the first raids, FDA officials searched Sai Enterprise godown in Mangalwar Peth and seized gutka pouches of various brands worth Rs 8.25 lakh. In the second raid, FDA officials along with police officials intercepted a truck near Belwade on Karad Highway and confiscated gutka worth Rs 24.30 lakh.
“Acting on a tip-off, another gutka consignment worth Rs 6,765 was seized in Adarsh Super Market in Shivaji Nagar. Our Food Safety Officer Meghna Pawar laid a trap and seized the consignment,” Kekare said.
Also, gutka worth Rs 5,000 was seized from Goyal Trade Company recently and FDA officials Parag Nalawade initiated action against Arun Dhule of the company.
“Madanlala Gangaram Chaudhari from Karvenagar was fined by the FDA for stocking gutka. He had stock gutka worth Rs 1,600 and was fined Rs 7,000,” Kekare said
No storage issues
As per a court order, FDA officials cannot destroy seized Gutka, which has resulted in space crunch in the office. Even the Joint Commissioner’s office is being used as a storeroom.
“We are following court’s orders and waiting for the new ones. Officials have enough space to move around, as we are using the empty spaces to store the confiscated gutka,” Kekare said.