Rawalpindi - The sale of unhygienic beverages is flourishing in certain commercial areas of city due to lack of action in this regard.

Certain markets here, particularly Raja Bazaar, Saddar, Pirwadahi, Faizabad, Bunni, Commercial Market, Tench Bhatta and others, have become hub of these beverages as the citizens have no option but to use substandard stuff due to high temperature.

Mango juice, Lemon drink and Shakarkola are available just for Rs 20 per glass. The citizens view that drinking water facility is not available which should have been provided by the city district government.

Nowadays a large number of vendors have come out on the city’s roads and are selling spurious beverages, posing health hazards to the general public.

The vendors usually set up their stalls of substandard drinks outside schools and commercial localities. The drinks include black currant, plums and tamarind juices while balls made of ice are freely sold to schoolchildren causing throat problems in them.

Many vendors are also selling juices of stale oranges at low prices, especially near bus and wagon stands and outside schools. It was learnt that majority of the juice vendors do not observe any safety standards while washing their utensils in which they serve juices to their customers. Moreover, drinks are sometimes sold in reused bottles that are not cleaned properly.

The vendors’ utensils and bottles can easily transmit different bacteria and viruses to healthy people. The sale of dangerous drinks, prepared in tainted water or in poor hygienic conditions, is one of the main causes of diseases among children in summer. The spawning of flies and mosquitoes at the sale points make these homemade drinks even more injurious.

According to health experts some ingredients used in the drinks were injurious to health and most of the roadside vendors were using substandard food colours and saccharin instead of sugar in drinks, and cited as example the red colour called Amaranth frequently used in ice balls and other homemade drinks.

They said that substandard drinks and edibles could also cause typhoid, hepatitis, diarrhoea and different kinds of infections in children.

People from different walks of life said although the sale of unhygienic food items continues throughout the year without any check from the authorities concerned, the situation becomes more serious in summer as the demand for cold drinks increases. They said children are the worst victims of substandard food as they get attracted easily by the colours and taste.

The commuters standing at Faizabad and Saddar bus stops said that lack of provision of cold and clean drinking water on roads by the administration of the city, forced people to buy inferior quality drinks.