In a major crackdown on sale of spurious hand sanitisers and sale of masks at elevated price, three government agencies have arrested three people and registered offence against 21 establishments. Dattawadi cops, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and legal metrology department (LMO) took action after massive scrutiny based on instructions relayed by Deepak Mhaisekar, divisional collector of Pune. Mhaisekar said,
“The cases pertain to the substandard products, masks, overcharging, black marketing and illegal factory of hand sanitisers. Virus can spread if the hand sanitisers are of bad quality.” On Friday, the Dattawadi cops and FDA conducted a joint raid at an illegal manufacturing unit of hand sanitisers located in the Parvati and seized stock worth Rs1 lakh.
The tip-off was received by additional commissioner of police Ashok Morale. “The unit was operating in a flat and using a raw material of sanitisers. It was being sold in smaller quantities. Three people have been arrested and the samples have been sent to the lab. The reports will decided further course of action. We suspect that these sanitisers are substandard,” said assistant commissioner of FDA, RP Choudhary.
Given the scare of coronavirus there is a huge demand in the market for hand sanitisers and face masks. However, this has given rise to malpractice and culprits are profiting the situation — taking people’s panic for granted and subjected them to substandard material, said the officials. In another special drive conducted by LMO on Friday, action has been taken against 21 establishments. Officials have booked retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers of hand sanitisers, face masks and other medical equipment. They were flouting regulations under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009.
LMO has booked Mayur Medical, PU Distributors , Parab Pharmaceuticals, Gopal Medical and Ashoka Trade Links and more. “The products failed to follow the mandate of declaration. They were incomplete. Some products did not have price, manufacturing details or customer care details. As there are no details of the MRP or other declaration, the customers get cheated when they pay exorbitant prices,” said NP Udmate, district controller at LMD. “We have booked sellers, wholesalers and even the manufacturers too, who failed to follow the rules,” said Udmate.
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