In a state wide check for quality fruits and vegetables, 22 teams of District Mandi Officers checked the main fruit and vegetable markets of the State. Nearly 9000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables that arrived on Friday in the mandis were checked. No case what so ever of Artificial Ripening was found in any of the mandis, informed KS Pannu, Director, Tandrust Punjab Mission.The Mission started about three months ago on June 5 and aiming to purge the State of all sub-standard food articles a campaign was launched to check artificial ripening of fruits. The fruits ripened with Calcium Carbide are known to be carcinogenic. A series of surprise checks coupled with awareness seminars and training sessions on ethical ripening were held. The efforts of Team Tandrust Punjab Mission bore a sweet fruit and finally the Mandis of State of Punjab are free of calcium carbide.
Crediting, the achievement to the vision and support of Chief Minister Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, he said that it was only due to Chief Minister’s desire to overhaul health and environment scenario that the Mission was conceptualised and today ‘we can proudly claim that our fruits are free of calcium carbide’.Giving further details of the raids, Mr. Pannu said that about 10 tonnes of rotten fruits and vegetables, unfit for human consumption were found and were destroyed on the spot. Mainly the stock in Samana, Patran and Gurdaspur mandis was overripe. 50 kg banana and 75 crates of apples amounting to 1100 quintals in Samana Mandi , 751kg apples,145 kg lemons and 706 kg tomatoes in Patran Mandi and 1500 kg fruits and 2000 kg vegetables in Gurdaspur mandi were not fit for human consumption.