Poor food at IT parks: Government springs into action

Minister of Health K K Shylaja has called for an emergency meeting with the Food Safety Commissioner at her office in the capital today

Published: 09th August 2016 03:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2016 06:06 AM   |  A+A-

KOCHI: With reports pouring in about the inferior quality of food being served at cafeterias inside Kakkanad Infopark and Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram, the government has sprung into action. Minister of Health K K Shylaja has called for an emergency meeting with the Food Safety Commissioner at her office in the capital on Tuesday. The minister’s action comes after complaints from both the IT parks poured in to her office.

“We will closely monitor the situation. We have received many complaints about the food inside IT parks, and the Food Safety Department has closed some of the eateries. At present, a meeting with the Food Safety Commissioner is the need of the hour. We will take further steps after the meeting,” the minister said.

The minister also directed a group of officials to inspect the IT parks and submit reports and has assured stringent action against eateries charging exorbitant prices. “We have already forced closure of several unhygienic eateries. We will hold discussions with the CEO of Infopark in the coming days and will ensure that reasonable prices are charged for the food. I will also visit the IT park in a couple of days,” the minister added.

A post by Infopark employee Arun Ashok Kambrath on his Facebook page with a detailed write-up the other day drew a lot of attention on social media. The photo of a ‘savalavada with a millipede inside’ taken at a cafeteria in the Thapasya building has so far been shared around 6,000 times and has garnered more than 4,000 likes. Meanwhile, Infopark employees have launched an online campaign through a Facebook page titled ‘Boycott Nila’, an eatery functioning in Lulu Tower. Following the protest, Infopark authorities have terminated the contract and ordered the closure of the food courts in Tapasya and Vismaya buildings. Three weeks ago, food safety authorities found that eight to nine restaurants have been serving stale food and in unhygienic surroundings at Technopark and fined some of the restaurants functioning at Nila and Bhavani buildings. The department also issued a closure notice to one working at Bhavani building.

When contacted, Infopark CEO Hrishikesh said that the license of existing food vendors at these buildings would be terminated with immediate effect. “We can’t encourage unethical practices. The food courts will remain closed till the new vendors are finalised through e-tendering process,” the CEO said.

He also added that a food committee is on the anvil which will include Infopark authorities and representatives from companies to monitor the operations of the food courts.

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