The city police will crack down on those flouting norms pertaining to sale of acids, especially the extremely hazardous nitric, sulphuric and hydrochloric acids.

The measures come in the wake of unregulated sale of acids in parts of the city. In an investigation, The Hindu found out that acids are freely available at hardware and grocery shops and reported the matter.

Following this, senior police officers held a meeting at the police commissionerate on Wednesday in which 27 wholesale licensed dealers of acids and chemicals were given a list of instructions, based on The Poisons Act 1919 and the recent guidelines issued by the Supreme Court.

“We have strictly instructed the dealers to demand that customers show ID cards and provide the reason for the purchase of acids. A register recording every purchase should be maintained, which should be furnished during inspection by the police. Selling acids to minors is strictly prohibited,” said a senior officer.

The register must contain details of buyers, including their name, phone number, address, name of the acid purchased, quantity sold and purpose of purchase. For goldsmiths procuring acids in small quantities from licensed sellers, an authorisation letter from their association stating which acids are used for their business should be stated.

Most of these guidelines are, however, not applicable to laboratories as they possess a separate license for storing acids and chemicals, the officer added.

Police inspectors have been authorised to carry out monthly inspections at the licensed shops in their limits to look for irregularities, and, if necessary, run background checks on customers. In case of any violations, the dealer will be brought to book along with the client.

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