The Telangana High Court has observed that the use of carbide to ripen fruits and vegetables is totally impermissible.
The bench comprising the Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice A. Rajasheker Reddy observed that use of carbide is to be confined to industrial purposes only.
The bench was considering a suo motu PIL registered by the High Court in 2015 taking note of a report Eenadu Telugu daily News paper titled ''Pandu..Pandu...Pandu... Arogyam Pundu Rasayanam Thani Peru" [Fruit...Fruit...Fruit... Health Wound' Chemical Its Name']. The report highlighted the use of prohibited chemicals in ripening fruits in Gaddi Annaram fruit market, Hyderabad and at several other places.
When this matter was taken up for hearing last week, the bench directed the state to consider creating more number of posts of Food Safety Officers, who have to manage the employees relating to Food Safety at the ground level.
During the course of hearing, the bench said that an important issue relating to challenges in the Food Safety sector is the use of carbide. It noted the submission of Amicus Curiae that carbide is seemed to be used excessively to ripen different fruits and also manage other fruits and vegetables for human consumption.
"This is totally impermissible. lt is forbidden by law. Use of carbide is confined to industrial purposes only.", the bench observed.
The court recorded the submission made by the Government pleader that sale of carbide in Telangana State already stands prohibited. The bench, while calling for the report, said:
"What now needs to be done is to ensure that carbide does not reach any hand, which is not duly authorized to possess it. Use of carbide is legally permissible as confined to the industrial sector. Therefore, law contains the prohibition that carbide shall not be used in any purpose except industrial purpose. This includes all activities other than those which are purely industrial as duly permitted by law. Therefore, the State Government will take immediate action to take adequate steps in accordance with law against any person found to be in possession of carbide other than those as permitted by law."