Food testing : Pindi laboratory yet to be made functional

Whole province relying on one facility in Lahore

Mudassir Raja April 26, 2016

RAWALPINDI: Punjab government has yet to make food testing laboratory functional in Rawalpindi.

The project of establishing a food testing laboratory in Rawalpindi was initiated in 2009 at the cost of Rs58.7 million. The building was required to be completed by 2011 end but a visit to the site shows that the building has been left incomplete and unattended.

It has no doors and windows, however, majority of the work of the building has been completed.

Information gathered by The Express Tribune revealed that the three-storey building was to accommodate offices and laboratory.

Currently, there is only one laboratory in Lahore for testing food samples from across the province.

In 2009, government approved building three food testing labs in Lahore, Multan, and Rawalpindi, decided to be established under health sector reforms programme.

Health officials in 2009 praised the decision of having new lab in Rawalpindi saying the facility would help in improving standards of food items in Rawalpindi and adjoining districts.

The concerned authorities had always failed to obtain food samples tested in time owing to absence of the lab.

An official in the food department said that the laboratory was under control of district health department. He said that Punjab government had recently established Punjab Food Authority and the government may put the food testing labs under control of the authority.

EDO-Health Dr Arshad Sabir was not available for comments.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th,  2016.



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