LAHORE - The city administration’s tall claims fell flat on their face on the first day of Ramazan as profiteers had a field day on Thursday.

Most of Ramazan bazaars did not have sugar and dates and quality of fruits and vegetables at these markets was poor. People who visited these markets questioned performance of the city administration and other departments. At the Singhpura vegetable market, most shopkeepers were selling fruits and vegetables at inflated rates.

The city administration had claimed before beginning of Ramazan that it would keep a strict check on prices of food items in the month of fasting with its army of price control magistrates, but it appeared on Thursday that people had been left completely at the mercy of profiteers.

In his message the other day, the CM laid stress on self-accountability. His message read: “We thank to Almighty Allah for being blessed with this holy month. This month is the lesson of self-accountability to us. This blissful month provides an opportunity of unity, tolerance and deep thinking to us.

The CM said: “Fasting is an Islamic obligation as well as a training of self-discipline. This month also teaches of about tolerance and sacrifices. We should take maximum care of the deserving people in this month, he added. It is a month of blessings for all of us and provides a golden opportunity to benefit from the blessings of Almighty Allah.”

Lahore Commissioner Abdullah Khalid Sumbal visited Karim Park and Shadman Ramazan bazaars on Thursday.

He said that profiteers would not be allowed to fleece people because price control magistrates were on their toes to control prices and punish profiteers. Similar claims were made by Lahore Deputy Commissioner Sumair Ahmed Syed who visited various Ramazan bazaars to check supply of subsidised food items to people.

On the other hand, Punjab Food Authority’s special raiding teams monitored shopkeepers and food business operators and checked quality of food at Sehr and Iftar time.

Punjab Food Authority Director General Noorul Amin Mengal told media persons that 33 food premises were closed, dozens of people were penalized and thousands of kilograms of low quality and adulterated foodstuff was discarded during the operation throughout the province.

He directed directors and deputy directors of Operations Wing to visit Ramazan Bazaars and markets to keep a watch on performance of field teams. He said that strict action will be taken against officials and officers in case of any negligence during duty hours.

Mengal said that quality assurance managers and food safety officers had been deputed at all model and Ramazan bazaars to ensure quality of essential commodities and enforcement of hygiene rules.

Seven food points were sealed in Lahore, two each in Rawalpindi, Dera Ghazi Khan and Multan, four in Sargodha, one in Gujranwala and three in Faisalabad by PFA teams.

Also, raiding teams imposed a fine of Rs15,000 on two shops in Bahawalpur, Rs88,500 on 14 food business operators in Rawalpindi, Rs125,500 on 18 eateries in Sargodha, Rs15,000 on outlets in Multan, Rs11,000 on trade points in Faisalabad, Rs85,500 on 11 food premises in DG Khan and Rs226,000 fine on 22 people in Gujranwala.

The authority served notices on approximately 3,000 food premises to improve their businesses as per Food Act 2011.

Traffic police holds Iftar dinner

City Traffic Police Lahore (CTPL) on Thursday arranged an ‘Iftar Dinner’ for the media persons at a local hotel.

 A large number of journalists of print and electronic media and Traffic Police officials participated in the Iftar Dinner. Talking to media after dinner, CTO Lahore Rai Ijaz Ahmad said that 2000 traffic cops have been deployed at important points of the provincial capital to facilitate the people to reach their destination for Iftar without traffic hurdles.  The traffic officials will ensure the smooth flow of traffic near the time of Iftar during the holy month, he added.

Railways reservation office timings

The Pakistan Railways has changed timings of reservation offices during the holy month of Ramazan.  According to the PR spokesman on Thursday, the reservation offices will work from 8am to 6pm in two shifts. However, the reservation offices will remain closed from 12:30pm to 2pm every Friday. After Ramazan, regular timings will be restored and the offices will work till 9pm.