Quality control office verifies foodstuff distributed as relief in Ramgram were of substandard qualityRamgram Municipality had distributed foodstuff worth about Rs1million to the needy in various wards amid the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
A week after the residents of Ramgram Municipality returned foodstuff distributed as relief to the municipal office for its substandard quality, the Food Technology and Quality Control Office, Bhairahawa, has verified the locals’ claims.
Chief of the quality control office, Bimal Kumar Dahal, said the food material distributed as relief lacked the level of quality approved by the government.
The Ramgram municipal office had distributed foodstuff worth about Rs1million to the needy in various wards amid the coronavirus lockdown.
After the recipients returned the substandard foodstuffs to the municipal office in protest, the District Administration Office of Nawalparasi (West) had formed a five-member task force to investigate the issue.
Sagar Gautam, who led the task force, said they had sampled 20 sacks of foodstuffs and found them to be of inferior quality. The task force had sent the samples to the Bhairahawa-based quality control office for further investigation.
Gautam added that the relief materials did not just lack in quality but their quantity was also reduced during distribution. Each sack fell short of about 80 to 180 grams in content against what was mentioned on the label, according to Gautam.
“We found there were serious irregularities in the quality and weight. The municipal office will be sued of this,” he said.
The Food Technology and Quality Control Office and Bureau of Standards and Metrology will separately launch cases against the municipal office, according to Gautam.
The quality control office is expected to file a case against the municipal office by Tuesday, according to chief Bimal Kumar Dahal.
“The case will be filed against those involved in the purchase process,” he said.
According to existing laws, those involved in distributing substandard food items will be either sentenced to jail for three years or fined Rs50,000, or be liable to both.
Ramgram Municipality had purchased a total of 250 quintals of rice from the Parasi-based Rajesh Rice Mill at the cost of Rs1million. The municipal office had distributed the foodstuffs to about 2,300 households in wards 6, 2, and 11.