What started as a stray complaint about ‘usage of plastic rice by a hotel’ in Saroornagar three days ago turned into a scary issue here on Tuesday with more such complaints reaching the officials.
Taking a serious note of the growing number of complaints and apprehensions expressed by people, Telangana State Civil Supplies Department swung into action by collecting samples of rice from different suppliers. The samples were sent to the department’s laboratory for analysis on Tuesday night.
Findings of the tests are likely to come today (Wednesday). A Task Force of the Department — comprising four officers and headed by retired police officer Sampath — had collected samples of rice from Kukatpally, Meerpet, Saroornagar and other places.
“We are awaiting the test findings to initiate action. A person, Ashok, approached Meerpet police alleging that the rice he purchased from a miller was made of plastic,” Civil Supplies Commissioner C.V. Anand said. On finding that Ashok purchased rice from Laxmi Rice Mill, the TF team collected the sample of rice from it as well.
Though unconfirmed reports about ‘plastic rice’ had been doing rounds and circulating through social media and WhatsApp for the past few days in the city, the first controversy erupted three days ago when a Telugu TV news channel employee charged that he found plastic rice in the biryani which he purchased from a hotel in Saroornagar. When he went to the hotel for questioning, some persons present there to beat him up badly triggering speculation that it was an attempt to “suppress the plastic rice issue”.
Even as the investigation into his complaint was on, similar complaints emerged on Wednesday. A resident of Nandanavanam Colony, Ashok, and inmates of a boys’ hostel in Ameerpet and another person Chakri of Begum Bazar alleged that the rice they had purchased from different sellers was ‘plastic rice’.
“Some of them claimed that when they hurled the lumps of the cooked plastic rice, they were rebounding. Inmates of the Ameerpet hostel charged that they were served an egg of plastic and it didn’t smell like the original one,” the police said. However, no criminal cases were registered.
(The report was published in The Hindu)