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Public Health Labs

Historical Background/Periodical Development

Public Health Laboratory, Pune is the pioneer Institute in the State for the development of Laboratory services. It came into existence as ''Sanitary Board Laboratory'' in 1912. The Laboratory works for statutory control of Water and Waste Water & Food examination bacteriological as well as chemical.

WHO recognized the Laboratory at Pune as District Referral Laboratory in 1960. In 1971 it was declared by WHO as Regional Referral Laboratory for receiving UNICEF Aid. In 1973 the laboratory was elevated to the status of State Public Health Laboratory. In 1975 Food and Agricultural Organization recognized the laboratory for monitoring metallic contaminants in food commodities. The State Public Health Laboratory, Pune, Regional Public Health Laboratory Nagpur & Aurangabad have been notified by Government as Water & Waste Water characterization laboratories under the Maharashtra Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act 1974 from May 1976 & Public Analysts were declared as Government Analysts from1977.

For proper coordination and rationalization of working of the laboratories under Urban Development and Public Health Department an expert committee was appointed in July 1974 and October 1975. As per the recommendations of this committee laboratory of the water pollution Board, Maharashtra prevention of Water Pollution Investigation Center Laboratory, Public Health Engineering Laboratories and Food and Drug Administration were transferred to the Directorate of Health Services. These laboratories were merged with Health Services to form 11 Public Health Laboratories. The places of these laboratories are as follows:

1. Pune
2. Aurangabad
3. Nagpur
4. Amravati.
5. Kolhapur
6. Solapur
7. Jalgaon
8. Sangli
9. Nasik
10. Nanded
11. Kokan Bhavan (Washi) Navi Mumbai

Besides 11 food testing laboratories, the D.P.H Laboratories at Ahmednagar, Satara, Thane,Jalna, Beed & Gadchiroli have been permitted to undertake the analysis of food samples under the provisions of the prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 & rules there under; as well as informal samples. These laboratories have started food analysis work from Nov. 2006 and at present 17 public health laboratories are functioning as Food Testing Laboratories.

Water and sanitation decade was observed from 1980 to 1990. During this period from 1985 to 1989 remaining 19 District Public Health Laboratories were created at the remaining districts for water quality monitoring.

Government of India has recognized State Public Health Laboratory, Pune as the Central Food Laboratory for the examination of Appellate food samples from Madhya Pradesh, Div, Daman and Dadra-Nagar Haveli 1978. The State of Karnataka and Union Territories of Delhi Corporation were added to Central Food Laboratory, Pune in 1980.
At present there are 30 Public Health Laboratories in the state. Laboratory at Pune functions as State Public Health Laboratory. Laboratories at Aurangabad and Nagpur are Regional level laboratories. And remaining 27 Public Health Laboratories are District Public Health Laboratories mainly engaged in chemical and bacteriological quality monitoring of drinking water.


In year 1976 Government of India had decided to have one Central Food Laboratory for each zone. Hence in addition to Central Food Laboratory, Calcutta, three more Central Food Laboratories at Ghaziabad, Mysore and Pune were created. The State Public Health Laboratory, Pune had been notified as Central Food Laboratory. This Laboratory is functioning since 1st April 1978 and it is performing various statutory functions as per PFA act 1954 and Rules 1955 as follows.

1. To examine statutory appellate Food Samples received from various Courts of various States as per the jurisdiction and Port Health Authorities.
2. To create data for fixing Standards for various Food commodities under the provisions of PFA Act and Rules.
3. To participate in various collaborative projects pertaining to Food commodities sponsored by ICMR, New Delhi, CSIR, New Delhi, and WHO etc.
4. To participate in various Sub- committee Meetings of Central Committee for Food Standards (CCFS).

The Scheme of Central Food Laboratory, Pune was accepted on the basis of 100 % grant-in-aid from Central Government.

Historical Background
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