The state Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to come out with a separate cadre and recruitment rules for appointing food safety inspectors in the state.
The Cabinet not only gave its approval to the Health and Family Welfare Department Services (Food Safety and Standards Act) (Recruitment) Rules, 2015, but also gave the go-ahead to the Health and Family Welfare department for recruitment of 177 food safety inspectors, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
Currently, the department is making medical doctors to double up as food inspectors though they are not qualified to do so. It is for the first time a separate cadre and recruitment rules are being framed for enabling the department appoint qualified persons as food inspectors, the minister explained.
As per the new rules, graduates in biotechnology and biochemistry will be recruited as food safety inspectors. To begin with, the inspectors will be deputed in all taluks of the state, he added.
Besides, the Cabinet approved a proposal to declare 42 more taluks as drought-affected in the state. Most of these taluks are in southern districts of Karnataka, including Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagaram, Tumakuru, Chikkaballapur, Mandya, Hassan and Shivamogga. With this, total number of drought-hit taluks has gone up to 110 in the state. These taluks have 20% deficient rains and are low in moisture adequacy index, Jayachandra said.
Kalaburagi, Bidar and Raichur districts have witnessed floods due to heavy rains. The government had been estimating the loss incurred by the farmers due to drought and floods. The Revenue department would also assess losses incurred by the farmers in the Cauvery basin. A memorandum would soon be submitted to the Centre, seeking financial assistance to cope with vagaries of nature, he added.
The Cabinet also approved a proposal to complete denotification of about 7,140 acres of forest land in Shivamogga district. The land was utilised for rehabilitating people who were displaced for the construction of Linganamakki reservoir and resettlement of people from Shettyhalli wildlife sanctuary. The then government had denotified these lands through executive orders and had not followed the procedure prescribed under the Forest Act, he added.
He said the Cabinet approved construction of a district offices’ complex at Jaladarshini in Mysuru at a cost of Rs 67.91 crore. The contract has been awarded to Shirke Construction Technologies Pvt Ltd.