Wednesday, 31 May 2017

OFF THE RECORD review on Staff Promotions Scam in the FDA!

Fraud in the appointments at Drug Control Labs both at Aurangabad and Mumbai.

Friends, am back after a good vacation!! With renewed zest & more OFF THE RECORD information!! Todays blog is on FDA. I'm not much of a fan of the work and attitude of IAS  officer heading FDA as Commissioner--Harshdeep Kamble. Though he is a disciplinarian, not much has been credited to his achievements. I have various examples to cite on his shortcomings of his working style, but I have saved this for my series of blogs that will cover FDA for at least couple of more days. Mumbai is an international city. I will give you two examples on how attitude & working styles of FDA affects WE commoner's. I have two sons. One of them Anmol (aged 5), use to frequently complain about stomach aches when he was about 3. We visited at least 10 doctors to get their views on the same. Various scans & medicines were 'digested' by Anmol. Mind you, at home we don't even trust any RO machines...we prepare everything in Bisleri water. So no question of water contamination... One fine day my friend visited my house and his son asked for milk. Sampada, my better half, poured it into a mug, warmed it and gave it to him. Next day even that boy complained of stomach ache. We found the reason. It was the milk which we were sourcing from a "bhaiyya" delivering it plastic bags at our doorstep for years together. For a week, we stopped giving Anmol this milk and opted for the tetra packs of Amul...Till today my son has never complained. The problem was milk adulteration!!! & yes it is the moral responsibility of FDA to ensure us safe food which they have failed. Today I can afford tetra packs, but what about the person who stays in chawls & zhopdis...Do we care about them? No!!! Next example ---Buy a small bottle of Oil (used as hair oil) in any of your departmental store at Mumbai and pour it in your palm and smell it--do the same with another bottle of the same brand but this time buy it anywhere at  say, Lonavala or Nashik...the smell will tell you mixtures & adulteration..Similar with our medicines, alcohol and our food items. I remember once I had written a blog on Milk Adulteration and complained to then Commissioner Mahesh Zagade. He had conducted a raid on the octroi nakas and nearly millions of litres were returned to the manufacturer with notices of action. That was Mahesh Zagade for you. If you want to see how Milk adulteration happens, visit the Zhopadis near Mithibai College or the infamous Dharavi!! Tell me why shouldn't  I blame FDA, its Minister & officials? 

Anyway, the scam of recruitment, postings and promotion begins...One retired Joint Commissioner & an Assistant Director of the  Drug Testing Lab had failed to promote the internal staff  for almost 10 years leaving a huge gap between the Asst Dir Drug Controller of Lab (ADDCL) and next incumbent in line. This created a situation wherein today there is not a single eligible person within the Testing facility wing of the FDA. The charge at Mumbai is held by a Drug Officer  (Dr RN Tirpude) while Justice Lentin Commission Report following JJ tragedy report submitted, clearly prohibits creation of conflict of interest between those engaged in drug administration & testing lab. Allegedly, this is a created conflict of interest by the current commissioner in complete disregard to the norms established and adopted by the government and it continuous even today. The post of ADDCL at Aurnagabad is held by a rank of Scientific Officer by the name Mr. Aushankh ever since the retirement of the last ADDCL, Mr. Pol. The situation was so created that EX FDA Commissioner Mr. Zagade had to step in a fire fighting mode and he pushed for promotions (internal) of several Scientific Officers to the next cadre i.e. Senior Scientific Officers. I'm talking about 2013-14 and finally the  promotions under DPC were completed in February 2016. The proposal to officially notify after various scrutinises at Mantralay level is kept pending/in hang by a section officer Shri Shinde only to facilitate the continuity the current in-chagre of ADDCL Aurangabad because the recommended promotee would have replaced the occupant immediately had the promotion would have been notified. For the last 1 year since Feb 2016, this game of shuttling files between GAD & MED/FDA is going on. There is an allegation of a “class” ic  situation been created  by a click of officers only to promote and further the cause of one particular person.

The Commissioner has recently transferred the most senior person who would have occupied the chair of SSO "under deputation” to drug control lab at Mumbai.  It is alleged, that the sinister design of FDA –Mantralaya nexus includes & clears the current SO holding charge of ADDCL Aurangabad. This is on the face of very serious allegations of irregularities carried out by the current ADDCL exposed fully in the local media at Aurangabad recently. The inquiry officer (who holds charge in complete conflict of interest) Dr Tirpude who was sent to investigate has allegedly not even submitted his report and has causally/orally adviced the incharge to file police complaint on unfield colums in entry register of purchase of glasswares since 2015. This is again a "class" ic act of advising a person to file a complaint on work not done by himself and asking the police to carry the inquiry, we understand from sources. If such a sham inquiry is carried out and commissioner heeds to such advise of such officers, FDA will soon be in doldrums. What purpose does it serve to transfer two officers from Auranagabad lab to Mumbai when this lab is “almost on verge of closure” with skeleton staff working in food & drug testing labs.

The Govt in the winter session approved about 150 crores booster plan by recruiting 173 additonal staffs to the F&D testing Labs at 5 to 6 different places in the state with 35 crores investment in facilities; and with such an approach of protecting of interest of one person how will FDA function efficiently and serve the 12 crore population of Maharashtra, one wonders!

Parting Shot---recent exposure by the ex Joint Commissioner (Vigilance) IPS Harish Baijal's inquiry revealed that this foolish FDA administration paid around 32 lacs on a rented premises at Pune for the almost 2 years for storing confiscated goods & gutka in the name and under the head of testing facility of food lab. Is it too much to blink or think? I leave to the avid readers.

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