June 7, 2018
Rajasthan government has put the launch of project BHOG (Blissful Hygienic Offering to God) on hold as the project aims to ensure hygienic and safe ‘prasad’ at places of worship in state. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) brought last year all religious places including temples, mosques, churches and gurudwaras under the ambit of its rules. Under the project, the food safety regulator asked the states to ensure that prasad (offering) served to the devotees met food safety standards.
The health department of Rajasthan was to roll out the project, but the training meant for the prasad offering vendors and handlers, inside and outside the places of worship, has been postponed. “The project has been delayed for some unavoidable reasons and now, we will start it after some time,” said Dr. V.K. Mathur, food safety commissioner.
On January 29, FSSAI had issued an order to all states and union territories to roll out BHOG project and nominate nodal officers for the project. The motive behind the launching of the BHOG project was to ensure that preparation and packaging of prasad meets norms stipulated in Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, 2011. After receiving the order, Rajasthan started the process, but later postponed the training of stakeholders under the project. Sources in the government said, the project has been put on hold as of now, because it was not welcomed with a positive note by vendors and temple authorities. “The government does not want to create any issue that can hurt the vote bank,” an official said.