The hullabaloo over fish testing is not producing desired results as tests by officials of the Quality Council of India and the food and drugs administration are being carried out only during the nighttime and not round-the-clock as expected.
And to cap it all, the fish testing is being done in a room of the Patradevi police outpost, as a full-fledged laboratory is yet see the light of the day.
The office memorandum issued on Monday by the FDA has said that “QCI officials shall be posted 24×7 at the two entry check-posts of Patradevi and Pollem” for conducting tests on fish coming from outside the state.
However, it has been observed that QCI officials have not been posted for the round-the-clock fish testing, and that no fish samples are being checked during the daytime.
Reliable sources said that a QCI official along with FDA sleuths are conducting tests on the fish coming from outside the state from 10 pm to the wee hours of the next day.
It is pertinent to note here that after the persistent pressure from the people QCI labs had been proposed to be set up at border check-posts of both the districts.
However, lamentably at present only a room of the Patradevi police outpost is being used as a ‘lab’ to carry out the fish testing. A full-fledged lab is yet to be established at the Patradevi border.
One reason for conducting the checks on fish during the nighttime could be that most of the fish-laden trucks enter the state during the nighttime so that fish reaches various markets of Goa next day.
However, the sources have observed that there is a strong possibility of fish exporters pushing the trucks through the border during the daytime so as to get around the fish testing.
Moreover, the fish carrying vehicles can skip the checking by entering the state through other routes of the North Goa district other than the Patradevi check-post.