Khyber served fresh closure notice after pumping milk in market


Srinagar: Despite Government order of recalling of milk and all milk products manufactured by Khyber Agro Farms and directions that these products should not be supplied in markets till further orders, the Company has been violating the law and is busy in pumping milk products in the market.

The government on Saturday issued fresh notice to the Khyber asking them to immediately halt the milk production.

This reporter visited many places in Srinagar city after sources informed that Khyber Company is still supplying toned milk to traders for sale. “Yes, the company supplied these toned milk packets to us today. We procured only few packets though they were insisting on taking more,” vendors from Kokar Bazar Srinagar said while showing the Khyber milk packets lying in a box for sale.

We clicked photographs of the milk packets that the shopkeepers had put on sale. Shopkeepers from Zakoora area in the outskirts of Srinagar city can only be seen selling toned Khyber milk.

Pertinently, in compliance with court directions the government has issued orders for implementing the judgment of Judicial Magistrate Budgam and ordered Controller, Drug and Food Control Organization to ‘remove milk and milk products manufactured by Khyber Agro Farms Private Limited from the markets. The Health and Medical Education Department, in its order No HD/Legal/Drug/MR-56/2016 dated 06-04-2016 ordered that no milk or milk product of the company be available for human consumption till these products are declared safe by a referral laboratory in Kolkata.

Ironically a top official from Food Safety Department who wished not to be named said that he is a small fish and can’t do anything on ground, however when we brought the issue into the notice of Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education Department Dr M.K.Bhandari, he wondered how is it possible when the government has not issued an ‘withdrawal’ order.

“Our order that we issued on April 6 is intact and through that order the company can’t supply milk products to market. The ban on the sale and production will be lifted only after Referral Laboratory clears it. It is a serious issue and I will look into it,” he said.

Hours after the agency received phone calls from both Drug Controller Department and Food Safety informing that latest notice has been served on Saturday evening to proprietor Khyber Agro Farms wherein he has been asked to immediately halt the production of milk in his industrial unit.

An official from Drug Controller Department who identified herself as Lochika Khajuria said that in fact a team of Food Safety seized Khyber toned milk packets from different areas of Srinagar city including Sanatnagar and interiors of city centre Lal Chowk. “Immediately, the Designated Officer Pulwama was asked to serve closure notice to the company,” she said while forwarding the order copy to the news agency.

 “You have been served closure notice vide letter number DO/FSSA/PUL/569-72 dated 16/4/2016 by Designated Officer Pulwama in light of the orders passed by worthy Commissioner of Food Safety vide letter number HD/Legal/Drug/MR-56/2016 dated 06-04-2016. As such you are directed to recall all the milk and milk products from District Srinagar market immediately so that same are dealt as per the provision of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 Rules 2011,” reads the latest order served to the company.

An official form Food Safety Deptt wishing not to be named said that even after the ban, the company had pumped 5 to 6 thousand liters of milk in the market on trial basis. “The court had stayed the sentence and the fine imposed earlier on the company. We believe that the company proprietor has misinterpreted the court judgment and in a bid to sense the mood of the market and the Food Safety Department, it pumped dairy products in the market, that backfired,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to te Designated Officer Food Safety Pulwama, Sony Singh a copy of the latest closure notice served to the Khyber has also been sent to SP Pulwama for keeping a strict vigil on the Kyber Unit.

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