Wed, 16 Oct, 2019

Team Vijai’s decision on food testing lab reversed

Lab was earlier shifted to wholesale fish market by GF-controlled body

11th October 2019, 02:46 Hrs

the goan I network

MARGAO   

The recently reconstituted South Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA) is set to reverse the decision the previous, Vijai Sardesai-led Goa Forward Party controlled body which stipulated that the state-of-the-art food testing laboratory be located at the wholesale fish market.   

The SGPDA now headed by Nuvem MLA, Wilfred D’Sa has given its green signal to the Export Inspection Agency to set up the world class lab at the PDA market, the site where it was originally slated to be set up and was in fact ‘inaugurated’ by the then Union Minister Suresh Prabhu in the presence of Health Minister Vishwajit Rane and Sardesai, then the TCP Minister.   

Prabhu had sanctioned the world class food testing laboratory for Goa when the state was in the grip of formalin-in-fish scare, with locals casting doubts on the efficacy of the local inspecting authorities and demands to test all foods, including fish, meat, fruits and vegetables sold in the state.   

Prabhu sanctioned the world class food testing laboratory for Goa when the state was in the grip of formalin-in-fish scare, with locals casting doubts on the efficacy of the local inspecting authorities and demands to test all 

foods, including fish, meat, fruits and vegetables sold in the state.   

The sudden development, sources said, comes against the backdrop of reports that officials of the Export Inspection Agency had expressed its strong reservations to the setting up the state-of-the-art food testing laboratory at the wholesale fish market, more known for stink and unhygienic conditions. While PDA Chairman MLA Wilfred has given the green signal to the Export Inspection Agency Assistant Director Shirishkar Dipty to set up the lab in the PDA market, the decision is expected to be formalized at the first meeting of the newly-constituted SGPDA, which is likely to take place soon.   

The Assistant Director, EIA called on the new PDA Chairman at the PDA office on Thursday and explained the reasons over the delay in starting the laboratory operations. Though the laboratory was inaugurated at the PDA market by Suresh Prabhu on January 27, the EIA Assistant Director informed the new PDA Chairman that the lab cannot be set up at the wholesale fish market as it requires a clean environment.   

The PDA Chairman later said it will revert any decision taken by the previous Chairperson to transfer the food testing lab out of the PDA market to the wholesale fish market so that the lab sees light of the day within a year’s time at the original location.   

“The EIA Assistant Director informed me that the previous PDA body had decided to shift the proposed location of the lab to the wholesale fish market. The EIA official was clear in saying the lab cannot be set up in the wholesale fish market since it requires a clean space,” Wilfred said, adding “I want people to feel confident that the food sold in the SGPDA market is safe”.   

To a question, the PDA Chairman said since the laboratory is in need of space admeasuring 700 square meters, the PDA will propose razing down of the shed to make way for the world class lab at the PDA market near the chicken stalls.   

“The laboratory requires clean space and it will be audited by national and international agencies. The lab building will be constructed with central funds,” he added.   1 Officials of the Export Inspection Agency had expressed its strong reservations to the setting up the food testing laboratory at the wholesale fish market, more known for stink and unhygienic conditions  

2 While PDA Chairman MLA Wilfred has okayed setting up of the lab in the PDA market, the decision is expected to be formalized at the first meeting of the newly-constituted SGPDA soon  

According to the PDA Chairman ...  
Since the laboratory is in need of space admeasuring 700 square meters, the PDA will propose razing down of the shed to make way for the lab at the PDA market near the chicken stalls   
The laboratory requires clean space and it will be audited by national and international agencies. The lab building will be constructed with central funds