THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the Tamil Nadu government backing off from cooperating with the efforts of the Kerala government to prevent flow of toxic vegetables and fruits, the state authorities are groping in the dark. However, they have started issuing warning to truck drivers and traders transporting vegetables to the state.
Rumours are rife that the Kerala government would have to cancel the meeting scheduled on Tuesday with the secretaries of other states as the Tamil Nadu government has refused to take part in it. “The registration and licensing drive launched by the Commissionerate to enrol vegetable and fruit traders have finished but the drive could cover only 50 per cent of them. We have started issuing warnings to the truck drivers and traders bringing vegetables and fruits to the state at check posts.”
We will take strict action against the violators. We will show no leniency towards the violators,” said a top food safety official. The official said the commissionerate would soon start collecting samples at check posts and the dealer and transporter will be held responsible if the vegetables and fruits are found to contain toxic residues.
However, the state’s plan to make registration compulsory for trucks carrying vegetables and fruits to the state remain a mere announcement as the food safety authorities have no clue on how to implement this. “This government plan is highly impractical. Traders don’t depend on a single truck or most of the trucks are not used dedicatedly for transporting fruits. So it’s impossible to make registration compulsory,” said P. V. Hamza, state president of All Kerala Fruits Merchants Association....