BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has not been able to enforce new rules restricting sale of acid and other corrosive substances despite notifying the Odisha Poisons (Possession and Sale) Rules, 2014.
Recurring incidence of acid attacks notwithstanding, very little knowledge of the new norms and lack of enforcement have posed a challenge in implementation of the new set of rules which was formulated following Supreme Court directives.
The Odisha Poison Rules stipulates that any executive magistrate or a police officer in the rank of SI is authorised to visit the premises of the licence holder and conduct inspection. Medical officer or an Inspector appointed by the Government can also conduct the enforcement work.
However, the awareness about the rules is almost non-existent at the police station level. Besides, most police stations are so occupied with the daily law order and crime-control work that their personnel have little time for inspection, a senior police officer confessed.
Besides, some of the acids, which have been listed in the rules, are also available freely in the departmental stores at `25 a bottle. “These are mainly meant for cleaning floors and toilets but can be used with deadly effects by miscreants. There is no check on such sale though the new rules call for a stricter check,” the officer added.
The Odisha Poisons (Possession and Sale) Rules, 2014 has notified as many as 14 substances as poison and stipulates that sale of the acids can be made by licence holders only though grocery shops do not come under its purview.
The norms provide that a licence holder can not sell the acid items to a single person.
The buyer must be accompanied by at least one person who will stand witness to purchase and declare the purpose of its use. Besides, anyone below 18 years can not buy the corrosive substance.
Before the sale, the details of the buyer’s name and contact number have to be maintained in a register while the seller must maintain a day-to-day log of the sale.