UP govt, Centre send over 50 food inspectors to Ayodhya

UP govt, Centre send over 50 food inspectors to Ayodhya

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  • January 21, 2024
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New Delhi: In view of the Ram Mandir inauguration on Monday in Ayodhya, the Uttar Pradesh government along with the Centre’s Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has deputed over 50 food inspectors in the city to keep a close eye on food business operators such as restaurants, dhabas and hotels.

The state government’s food department has banned the sale and cooking of non-vegetarian food items in the city on Monday, as part of the plan. Besides this, there will be quality and safety checks for langars and bhandars organized by the Ram Mandir administration, before any food items are served to devotees.

It is estimated that thousands of people including 3,000 VVIPS such as politicians, members of Parliament, actors, ambassadors, and cricketers will gather to participate in the event on Monday to witness Pran Pratishtha, or the consecration ceremony, of the Ram Lalla idol at the temple.

This follows a long battle in court between the Sunni Waqf Board for the Babri Masjid and the Ram Janambhoomi Trust, among others.

In 2019, the Supreme Court awarded the disputed land to a trust for the construction of a Ram temple.

It also directs the government to allocate alternative land to the Sunni Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque.

Preparatory to Monday’s function, the government’s food safety officers are taking samples of food items from all the operators of food businesses and directing them to ensure good standards of hygiene in their kitchens.

“We are in discussions with the UP government to ensure high standards of food safety in Ayodhya city. Thousands of people are expected to gather for the event. The state government has already stationed food safety vans and food inspectors on the ground to check the quality of food,” said a senior FSSAI official.

The officers are also educating local food shop-owners on safety norms and personal hygiene, said the official. In the coming years, the government plans to transform Ayodhya into one of the world’s premier tourist destinations on the banks of the Sarayu river.

Queries sent to the health ministry spokesperson remained unanswered.

H.S. Singh, deputy food commissioner in the UP government, said that all appropriate measures are being taken to ensure food safety.

“Over 50 food inspectors have been deputed zone wise to analyse the quality of food in restaurants, dhabas, hotels and street vendors in and around the city. Food samples are being picked and live testing is being done via mobile food testing vans. Special directions have been given to all food business operators not to cook and sell non-veg food items,” said Singh.

“For VVIP guests, a dedicated team of food safety officers have been put in place to check the quality of food before serving it to them. Moreover, 50 food safety officers are on backup,” he said.

To celebrate the Ram Mandir inauguration, the Union government has declared half day off till 2:30 PM across India at all government offices. Many state governments have also declared a holiday.

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Published: 21 Jan 2024, 10:34 PM IST

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