Chandigarh: It was a bitter pill to swallow for Chandigarh`s sweet shop owners in last year`s festive season. So, to avoid raids this time, many of them have shifted base to neighbouring areas in Punjab and Haryana.
With the authorities in Chandigarh raiding and seizing over 50,000 kg of sub-standard and adulterated sweets being manufactured and kept in unhygienic conditions last year, several sweet shop owners have played a smart one this time.
"They have moved their sweet manufacturing bases to neighbouring areas of Mohali and Panchkula districts respectively in Punjab and Haryana. They have done so as they are confident that raids by the health authorities in neighbouring areas will not be as frequent and comprehensive and their business will not get affected," a health official in Chandigarh, who wished not to be named, told a news agency.
Trade sources say the sweets are being manufactured at units and godowns in neighbouring areas of Zirakpur, Derabassi, Lalru and Mohali in Punjab and Panchkula town in Haryana.
"The sweets are being brought into Chandigarh in smaller vehicles like cars and jeeps so that these are not detected," said Ramesh Gupta, a sweet shop owner in Sector 19.
During the festive season last year, the authorities in Chandigarh had raided the manufacturing facilities of sweet shop owners at several places in the union territory (UT) and seized over 50,000 kg of sub-standard and adulterated sweets.
The seized sweets were destroyed by the authorities.
"This year we have not been able to seize much of the sub-standard sweets as most of the manufacturing business has been moved to nearby areas of Punjab and Haryana where we have no access," Chandigarh`s additional deputy commissioner M.L. Sharma said.
The authorities in Chandigarh have been able to seize and destroy over 25,000 kg of sweets this festive season also, Sharma said. He added that adulterated `khoya` had not been seized in bigger quantities in Chandigarh this time.
The authorities drove a road-roller on the seized sweets. The residue was then covered with soil to destroy it completely.
Most of the sweets seized and destroyed included burfi, petha, patissa, rasgullas and other preparations like sweet and plain mathhis.
The Chandigarh administration this week issued an appeal to the people to inform officials if they came to know of sweets being manufactured or stored illegally or in unhygienic conditions.
"All food business operators in slums/colonies/villages and city manufacturing sweets in insanitary/unhygienic conditions and without food licence are hereby warned by the Chandigarh administration. Strict action shall be taken against them under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and under Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 (Central Act No III of 1897)," a notice of the administration said this week.