CDGL finally launches special Ramadan drive


After a lapse of eight days, the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) woke up from slumber and finally launched the “Special Ramdan Drive” on Tuesday to check on adulteration and cleanliness conditions in all the Ramdan Bazaars, hotels, restaurants and outlets offering Ramdan deals for Sehri and Iftaar in the city.
The food department had constituted special teams under the leadership of District Officer (Food) Dr Masood Ashraf, which began the drive at full throttle.
District Coordination Officer (DCO) Ahed Cheema formally approved the drive that involved town administrations of Data Gunj Bukh, Samnabad, Ravi Town, Wahga, Shalimar, Nishtar Colony, Allama Iqbal Town, Aziz Bhatti Town and Gulberg. According to the plan, all the nine towns would be divided into three parts and three teams comprising two to three food inspectors would administer surprise raids in their designated areas in each town.
Masood said the teams would submit daily reports to the DCO and commissioner and a complete presentation would be forwarded to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to keep him abreast on the success of the drive that would continue till the last day of Ramdan. He said that team would also check adulteration in milk being sold at milk shops across the city.
Chief Food Inspector Muhammad Ayub said the inspection teams would especially check small entrepreneurs for adulterated products. He said the government had already deployed price control magistrates to monitor the price lists and ensure the sale of products at subsidised rates.
An official of the CDGL said the adulterators were not scared of any legal or punitive action as various loopholes existed in the law. He said in the past, raids were carried out, challans issued and some shopkeepers sentenced for two to three months on being found guilty of adulteration, but most of the time, the challans were not decided in time and remained pending for long. He hoped that the government would reform the system to ensure the availability of quality products in the market.
“How can we offer goods on government-quoted prices after buying them on higher rates or importing them?” remarked Nazir Bhatti, a wholesaler in Akbari Mandi. “Many pulses and spices are imported from India, Australia, Turkey, China, Far Eastern countries and even from South America. The exchange rate, freight cost, local financial charges and transportation costs considerable increase the retail prices of these items,” he added.
Ghose Muhammad, a shopper at Anarkali said purchasing in Ramadan was a real test of consumers’ endurance as they faced frequent scarcities and price hikes in the essential food items including wheat flour, rice, sugar, vegetables, fruits and many other edible goods for a various reasons. He said the price controlling authorities had no proper plan, no capacity and no commitment to protect the consumers’ interest He said the government should hire statisticians and analysts to keep people informed about the demand and supply of all essential goods and cut down the number of tiers in the supply-chain between the producers and the consumers.