Panaji: The Congress party on Thursday said the state government has been exposed as there was no mechanism put in place for checking of fish samples from the trucks arriving at the state borders from the neighbouring states.
“Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had assured on June 10 that in the next two days government will put a mechanism in order to check fish at the state borders but there is no team of Food and Drugs Administration deployed at the check-posts or in Margao wholesale fish market till date. The government and Chief Minister stand exposed,” said Chodankar.
He alleged that Sawant and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane were supporting the fish mafia in the state.
Stating that the Health Minister had assured that the government would set up a world-class laboratory to test the imported fish, the Congress president questioned as to why Rane was still busy searching the files related to the proposed laboratory even after one year of giving commitment to Goans.
He further said that the state government cannot rubbish the claims of Congress that formalin-laced fish is back in the local markets, as the samples of fish were tested in a private laboratory in Margao which is recognised by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. “The fish samples tested by us were in a laboratory that is reputed and recognised by the food safety regulatory body. This particular lab has been in existence even before Rane and Sawant were born,” he said.
Chodankar said that the ‘formalin in fish’ scare still exists in the minds of the people, as the government has failed to initiate concrete steps towards ensuring the supply of formalin-free fish. He said that there was an urgent need to come out with a robust mechanism to ensure safe and quality fish to the locals at the earliest.