Hyderabad: Some chicken traders in the old city are allegedly cheating customers by manipulating electronic weighing machines using remote controls, if the recently formed association of chicken shops is to be believed. “Few chicken shops in the city are baiting customers with low prices. Truth is that they are using remote controls to manipulate the electronic weighing scale. As a result, the customer pays for one kilogram when he is actually given only around 650 grams,” said Mohammed Abid Mahmood, a member of the Hyderabad Chicken Shop Association (Old City).
Another member of the association, Mohammed Jahangir, says these traders keep the remote control in their pockets and sit a little away from the weighing scale and press the remote button. “Depending upon the quantity of the commodity, the traders switch on the remote control to over report the weight. Not only chicken shops, this malpractice is prevalent in many shops where electronic weighing scales are used,” alleges Jahangir. The association says electronic weighing instruments can easily be rigged by technicians by incorporating a chip in the machine. The chip is controlled by the handheld remote.
“If one presses the button of the remote control it helps to swiftly change between the standard and non-standard modes on the machine,” explains a weighing machine dealer. The remote resembles a keychain and is hard to be detected, he adds. Another association member alleged that there is malpractice in largescale deals too.
“For functions, the chef asks the customer to bring a specified quantity of chicken or mutton from a particular shop. In most instances, the shopkeeper and the cook will be hand in glove and if the chef asks for 200 kilograms, the shop owner weighs about 150 kilograms. The price of the rest is shared between them,” he says. Following several complaints from the public, the association is now reaching out to traders and holding meetings asking traders to maintain a uniform price and to ensure correct measurement on the weighing scales. “We have also asked the Legal Metrology Department to conduct periodic checks at the shops,” Abid Mahmood said. A Legal Metrology official said they were regularly conducting checks in markets and registering cases against traders resorting to malpractices.
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