Assam ropes in Pune’s NCL to develop kit to detect spurious liquor

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Guwahati, March 7 (IANS) After witnessing the hooch tragedy that killed many in the state, the Assam government has decided to work with Pune-based National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) to develop a cost-effective testing kit for detection of spurious liquor, an official of the Excise Department said on Thursday.

A delegation of the state Excise Department, including the top brass, met scientists of the NCL on Wednesday and discussed at length the details about the project, the official added.

Over 150 people were killed in a span of less than one week in Assam’s Golaghat and Jorhat districts due to consumption of spurious liquor last month.

“We are planning to set up a modern chemical laboratory to test and authenticate liquor products in Assam. We have urged the laboratory to develop a low-cost paper-based kit for detection of spurious liquor,” said the official.

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He said that the laboratory will be built under the World Bank-funded ASPIRe (Assam State Public Finance Institutional Reforms) project of the Finance Department at an estimated cost of Rs 4 crore.

The NCL, which is a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, will prepare the action plan and detailed project report of the planned laboratory in the state within six months, he informed.

–IANS

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