Vadodra (Gujarat), Aug.13 (ANI): Over 3,000 quintals of wheat worth about Rs.3.5 crores has rotted after a recent spell of monsoon showers in Vadodra, Gujarat.
This has been due to the failure of proper storage arrangements by the state authorities.
According to media reports, the Food Corporation of India and the Central Warehousing Corporation had kept the wheat in the railway backyard, but it rotted after rains lashed the city.
Vadodra District Collector Vinod Rao said: "We will speak to the concerned authorities and take action in this regard. We will try our best to initiate an enquiry as soon as possible. We will put forward this issue before the concerned contractor and officials. About 3,000 metric tons of wheat, whose worth is 30 to 40 million rupees, has been damaged."
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Balkrishna Shukla termed it a new kind of scam, adding that some authorities have blamed the private contractor for not being able to make adequate arrangements.
"This is not a case of communication gap. I call it a new form of corruption, this is because rains have lashed all parts of the country and there is not enough food for the public. About 2,000-3,000 metric tons of wheat comes to the state by railways. Some private contractor is assigned work; the contractor is saying that this is how I received these grains. We saw the railway yard, there are wheat bags lying in the open as well. We can also see bags on the truck lying in the open," he said.
Grain stocks officially deemed as stored in government warehouses, now stand at a record 82.4 million tons. However, that is about 20 million tons more than actual capacity, which means grain lying in the open is being passed off as "stored".
Much of India's grains are left out in the open exposed to potential decay as state-run warehouses can store only 63 million tonnes against the total 82.4 million tonnes of current stocks, which includes some coarse grains such as millets.
The government's storage problem has worsened as farmers have just finished harvesting another record wheat crop, forecast to be 90.23 million tonnes in 2012. Demand runs at about 76 million tonnes a year. (ANI)