Grains worth millions rot at Udaipur railway station

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Udaipur, July 8 (ANI): In a case of gross administrative negligence, grain stock worth millions of rupees has been left to rot at the Rana Pratap Railway Station in Rajasthan's Udaipur city.

Containing thousands of kilograms of wheat and peas, hundreds of gunnysacks had arrived at the station from Punjab and Haryana. They were to be supplied under the public distribution system to the below poverty line (BPL) households in the region.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) had sent nearly 100,000 gunnysacks carrying wheat meant for consumption by poor, while the National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) for India had transported many tonnes of yellow peas for the same purpose.

Due to lack of proper storage facilities, the grain was left in open and the monsoon speeded up their decay.

Noticing such negligence, furious local residents confronted NCCF official Jitendra Dubey, who had arrived at the platform to inspect the consignment.

"These grains are meant for the poorest of the poor, the below poverty line (BPL) households that live on these grains. Millions of poor people are waiting for the grain stocks, which are rotting here. The situation is deplorable since no one, from the contractor to the railway officials and food corporation authorities of India are concerned about this," said Jitendra Shastri, President of the Udaipur Youth Forum.

When asked the reason for the authorities failing to preserve the food stock, Dubey refused to comment.

Emitting a repugnant odour, the grains have still not been carted out of the railway station, and rodents and insects have now infested the stock. A white layer of fungi has also been observed forming on many of the gunnysacks.

"The food stock is lying rotten on the ground. A white fungus like layer has formed upon the gunnysacks and due to the rains, they have been rendered useless and inedible. The stock is stinking. However, despite all this, there is no separation of grains being done by the contractors who are supplying this stock. It is unfortunate that these rotting grains will be transported to the cities and supplied to consumers," said Ramesh, a local consumer.

The supply and consumption of such infected food grains could be dangerous to human health, he added.

Meanwhile, the authorities maintained that the grain has not been destroyed as yet, and that the transportation and supply was going on to the 'best of their abilities.'

"The grain stock has not destroyed as yet. Thousands of gunny bags are currently lying on the railway platform, and the labourers have been working hard to transport them to godowns. They work from morning till evening. The stock arrived at the station just four days back, and yesterday there was a national shutdown. How much work can the labourers possible do?" said Himmat Singh Bhati, a Food Corporation of India official stated. (ANI)

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