Kerala

Milk-testing lab in limbo

Uduma spinning mill, Kasaragod medical college in need of urgent intervention

In yet another instance of perpetual and stagnated development initiatives typical to this northern most district The Regional Milk Testing Laboratory at Kumbla here, inaugurated over a year ago to check the quality of milk procured from various places, is yet to become operational.

The functioning of the laboratory, housed in a three-storey building complex at Naikappu, was stalled after a senior official in the rank of Deputy Director of the Dairy Development Department, hailing from a southern district and whose presence is a must to supervise the day-to-day operation of the laboratory, managed to secure a stay from court against the appointment.

Appointment

The stalemate has affected the posting of a clerk and a lab assistant to oversee the running of the unit, installed with expensive electronic gadgets, sources said. The fate of the laboratory, set up to test the quality of outsourced milk, apart from the milk processed by Milma’s Kasaragod Dairy at Anandashram in Kanhangad, continues to remain uncertain. Sources said the authorities should take steps to appoint a senior official in the new financial year. The District Planning Committee could play a positive role in resolving the issue, they feel.

The district regional laboratory was formally inaugurated by Minister for Animal Husbandry K. Raju here on March 24 last year. The laboratary was imperative in the light of additional quantities of milk in pouches flooding the northern border areas of the district with no mechanism in place to check the quality of the milk supplied by private firms.

Tardy implementation of development initiatives seems to be the lot of the district. The public sector Uduma Spinning Mill has not produced even a metre of yarn ever since the unit was inaugurated way back in 2011.

Even though serious steps were taken to revive the mill, equipped with costly imported machinery, after the LDF government came to power in May 2016, the momentum was lost after the then Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan resigned from the post. The mill could not be revived despite the State earmarking over ₹8 crore to operationalise it.

The proposed Kasaragod government medical college at Badiadka is in limbo though the work formally began in November 2013. Work on two academic blocks have neared completion while the crucial hospital block work is yet to begin, with the State attributing the stalemate to fund crunch.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 8:00:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/milk-testing-lab-in-limbo/article23437566.ece

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