FDA to watch bus, rail passengers to stem gutkha flow into state
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Pune, has formed 11 teams to keep a watch on gutkha consignments entering the city via buses. In the backdrop of the gutkha ban in the state, the FDA is working on straight measures to ensure such consignments are intercepted before reaching the market.
With the strong possibility of gutkha entering the state from Karnataka (where these products have not been banned), the FDA plans to keep a strict vigil on vehicles plying on these routes, as well as from other states.
A known issue
“There are more chances of gutkha entering the state from Karnataka, so we are concentrating on these routes,” Desai said. The FDA is not only checking public transport terminals and private bus terminals, but also unaccompanied parcels and those being carried by passengers on buses. “Our FSOs will also watch rail passengers to ensure they are not transporting gutkha,” Desai said.
The FDA has filed FIRs against three persons in the city for storing gutkha and has seized products worth Rs 9,98,800. Gutkha worth Rs 84,420 was seized from Sohan Traders at Warje Malwadi, which was being stored in a flat-cum-store in Bhimpark area. Gutkha worth Rs 15,240 was seized from Hanuman Traders and Rs 220 worth from Vijay Stores in Bhosari.