Contaminated Milk and Water Being Supplied in Islamabad but Food Department Acting as a Silent Spectator
Despite being the country’s capital, the products from 42 dairy farms and nine bottled water brands marked unfit for human health are still available in Islamabad.
According to the investigation conducted by NayaDaur, 12 dairy farms, which are using Indian powder for preparation of milk and supplying it in the market for Rs40/per kg, are still operating in the capital.
A source in dairy farm association told NayaDaur that some of them were fined by the food department in the first phase but later they started their business again.
According to the analysis of the National Institute of Health (NIH), 42 dairy farms are not only supplying low standard milk but their milk’s sample assessment shows that these are a threat to human life because of a huge quantity of chemicals.
The NIH found last month that eight bottled water brands were supplying contaminated water in which coliforms level 40-240 was resulting in spreading hepatitis.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) in its verdict had ordered the ICT [Islamabad Capital Territory] administration to seal all the bottled water companies brands accused of supplying contaminated water, but the food department de-sealed these, thus violating the top court’s verdict.
A source in the ICT administration said no food regulatory body had been formed for Islamabad. There was only one food inspector to cover a city whose population increased to two million, making it impossible for him to perform his duties properly, he added.
He further added that food department through fake receipts obtaining fines from restaurants, bakers and dairy farms, although they are not interested in strict action against those who are playing with lives of people.
When contacted, the Islamabad DC, regarding the establishing of food regulatory body, replied that the law was pending with the ministry concerned and they would take after the approval.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director (Food) Iqbal Yousaf didn’t respond to the queries about the supply of contaminated milk and bottled water despite repeated attempts on phone and visiting his office for two days.
The author is a reporter based in Islamabad.