Health authority backpedals on testing

Grocery Merchants Association welcomes decision

Our Correspondent January 20, 2024


The Rawalpindi District Health Authority (DHA) has withdrawn its notices requiring food, beverages, grocery shops, and bakers to get their workers’ medical tests done and provide water samples after a strong backlash from the Grocery Merchants Association.

Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner Hasan Waqar Cheema clarified that the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) holds the authority to conduct medical tests and inspect water samples from shops. The district health officer is not empowered to take any action in this regard, rendering all previous proceedings null and void.

Expressing satisfaction with the resolution Grocery Merchant Association Central President Saleem Pervez Butt stated that all notices were withdrawn after their protest and clarification from the deputy commissioner and PFA.

Read SFA to upgrade food testing lab

He emphasised that if water quality is a concern, action should be directed towards its supplier, which is the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA).

The association is ready to work with the relevant food authority to establish a mechanism for addressing water quality concerns and is open to discussions to reach a positive outcome, he said.

Saleem Pervez Butt reiterated the association's commitment to complying with all relevant laws, underscoring the need for a clear procedure and mechanism before full cooperation is extended.

Water issues have long plagued the garrison city, which is expanding at a breakneck pace in all directions.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2024.


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