KELPAM, a Kerala government venture, has come under the criticism of the Kerala State Human Rights Commission for its palm pine juice (‘nongu’ juice) sold through its bunk shops. The Commission asked how could KELPAM sell the juice through its outlets without a Food Safety Licence.
In an order, KSHRC Chairman J B Koshi asked who gave KELPAM the authority to sell such juice through its wayside bunks even when such sale was not recognised by the government or the company Director Board.
The Chairman made this observation while examining a complaint related to removing bunk shops near the Cantonment police station and the Sports Council. In the complaint, A Ajith Kumar had said that his bunk shops were removed by the company chairman on his own without the company’s knowledge.
KELPAM Managing Director submitted before the Commission that the bunks were removed by the chairman on his own and did not have the recognition of the Director Board or the MD.
In his explanation, the Managing Director said that the chairman was making palm pine juice on his own at his Kuravankonam office and distributing it through agents. He also said that the juice did not have the required standards.
Justice Koshi also directed Industries Department Principal Secretary to submit a report in this regard by May 9.