Though the Goa State Horticulture Corporation (GSHC) claim that regular inspections are held in South Goa by the corporation appointed inspectors, several outlet operators in South Goa have confirmed that such inspections are held rarely.
The operators said that whenever the inspectors visit the outlets, it is for a brief period and they focus only on the 11 items supplied by the corporation.
A gadda owner from Colva said, “In the last eight years, the inspectors have visited my gadda (GSHC outlet) only thrice. I do not know about the other outlets. I am told that the inspectors are pre-occupied with other jobs’’. It is learnt that the corporation has only one inspector, who has to look after around 500 outlets in South Goa, besides visiting the procurement centres and checking the consignment.
The district level officer of the GSHC, Datta Prasad D said, “Inspecting the gaddas (outlets) is not only the job of the inspector, but he has to visit eight procurement centres in South Goa, where loading and unloading of vegetables and fruits take place. While Canacona and Sanguem talukas has two procurement centres each, other talukas have one each. Whenever inspections are held, the outlet operators are strictly warned not to sell vegetables brought from the open market”. Prasad confirmed that presently the corporation is dependent on two inspectors who work in the two districts of the state.
The outlet operators say that whenever they receive poor quality vegetables there are no inspectors available to conduct an inspection. The situation also helps to allow illegalities even though the authorities are aware of it.
The outlet operators also take the advantage of shortage of GSHC inspectors. Knowing that the inspectors hardly visit their outlet, the operators buy vegetables and fruits from the open wholesale market in Margao and freely sell them for much higher price. The gadda operators directly sell vegetables to hoteliers and earn a few more rupees.
When this daily contacted a couple of wholesalers dealing with vegetable and fruits, they confirmed that a few operators of GSHC buy vegetables and fruits from them.
GSHC managing director Madhav Kelkar said, “We are restructuring the setup of the wholesale corporation. Give us some time. More inspectors will be appointed”. Kelkar said that the supply of vegetables to the outlets has improved.
It may be recalled that soon after The Navhind Times highlighted how poor quality vegetables and fruits are being supplied to the outlets by the corporation, the supply has improved within four days. The inspectors were also on the job visiting various gaddas and hearing their grievance.