Staff Reporter

KOLLAM: The 15th State conference of the Kerala Legal Metrology Department Staff Association will be held here on April 17 and 18. The conference will be inaugurated by Minister for Food and Civil Supplies C. Divakaran. CPI leader and chairman of the conference reception committee Soni B. Thengamam will preside over the function.

The inaugural function will be followed by a seminar on “Consumer protection and modernisation of the Legal Metrology Department.” The seminar will be inaugurated by Minister for Agriculture Mullakara Ratnakaran. General secretary of the association G.R. Rajeev said that the conference would discuss the problems faced by the department and its employees, prime among which is staff shortage.

Though the department protects the consumer rights of more than three crore people of the State, it has only 556 employees. The department is not equipped with staff and infrastructure to conduct a quick raid even in a taluk, he said. Mr. Rajeev said that this year a gold purity assessment lab would be commissioned at the department's laboratory at Ernakulam. Equipment for the purpose have been imported.

He also said that a tanker lorry calibration unit would shortly open at Kollam. Land for the purpose had been allocated to the department near the Kollam railway station.

The other tanker lorry calibration units are at Kozhikode and Ernakulam.