Secretariat canteen closed for fourth day

Special Correspondent

GHMC move termed by staff as ‘long overdue’

Poor quality of food draws flak

Chief Secretary to decide on the issue

HYDERABAD: Canteens and eateries in the Secretariat remained closed for the fourth working day on Tuesday after they were sealed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation on finding the premises unclean and quality of food items sub-standard.

Several Secretariat employees hailed the step as “long overdue”, going by the “poor quality” of food items and unclean” atmosphere.

The GHMC officials, during inspections, found all the four canteens in the Secretariat functioning without licences. C. V. S. K. Sarma, GHMC Special Commissioner, said unhygienic food could not be served to any person. K. Balaji Raju, GHMC food inspector, said they had sealed the canteens under Anti-Food Adulteration Act and bylaws of civic body that prescribed minimum standards to be maintained for upkeep of hotels/eating houses and for food items/drinking water served.

Chief Secretary J. Harinarayan is expected to take a decision on the issue as the GHMC has already submitted report to the Government on the closure.

Employees are also critical about a “rowdy element” ruling the roost in the Secretariat in allotment of space for stalls.

They recalled that a counter of DWCRA women selling home-preparations which was permitted by the Chief Minister had to be closed due to interference by this element. In its place, another counter by a private party was allowed and “for a bribe”, they alleged.

According to rules, canteens in the Secretariat have to be managed by employees’ cooperative societies but only one of them fulfilled this condition.