LAHORE- The machinery worth millions of rupees, which was confiscated from various unregistered food factories, manufacturing spurious cold drinks and other food items have vanished from the warehouse of the Food Department of the City District Government, sources informed TheNation on Tuesday. No clear policy regarding use of confiscated machinery has been constituted so far by the CDG authorities due to which the theft incidents have increased, they added. The sources further informed that officials of the department recovered such machinery including china machines, seal machines, packing machines with empties, recovered bottles of spurious cold drinks and packs of spurious spices by conducting raids during different operations against spurious cold drinks and food items. They said that the raiding squads recovered huge quantity of spurious food commodities and manufacturing machinery worth millions of rupees from these factories in previous years and impounded it according to rules. Perhaps, they threw all the said machinery and other equipments in the departments warehouse and forgot about it. Meanwhile, some officials of Health and Food Departments by taking advantage of such ignorant attitude on part of the authorities and some unidentified persons started stealing such machinery from the storeroom but no body noticed this activity so far, they added. They said that the machinery present in the warehouse did not match with the record of confiscated machinery, compiled by the department as major part of the machinery had already been disappeared unlawfully by those having direct approach to stockroom. According to rules, the practice of raiding the spurious cold drink factories and unregistered food factories by the squads, constituted by the department throughout the year and they dump the confiscated machinery in the storeroom of the department and register case against the accused. Later, the department refers the cases registered against the owners and other accused arrested red handed from such factories for hearing in the courts of magistrates of City District Government, functioning in all the towns of the City, the sources informed. However, they said that the officials of department also appeared before the court of magistrates with the details and nature of case, samples, laboratory reports of spurious cold drinks and other commodities as evidence only. The accused are being punished with fine and released only and in some cases the magistrates ordered to give custody of the confiscated machinery to the owners on surety till the final decision of court, said the District Officer Food Dr Masood Ashraf adding that the confiscated machinery and other equipments are being kept safely in the storeroom of the department. On a query that how the department justifies raids and confiscation of machinery from the unlawfully established factories when that is being given in the custody of the owners or accused so that they can continue their illegal business, he replied that there was dire need to make a policy in this regard which could bound magistrates not to give instructions to the department in order to return the confiscated equipments and other machinery back to the accused persons. When the issue was taken into the notice of the Executive District Officer (EDO) Health and Food Dr Fiaz Ahmed Ranjha, he said the issue was not in his knowledge. However, he offered this scribe to accompany him in the raid on the warehouse of food department.