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PDS foodgrains diverted to private millers

Written by: Staff
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Kochi, Aug 25 (UNI) Food grains meant for the public distribution system (PDS) are suspected to have been diverted to private millers, the Ernakulam district authorities have reported to the Kerala Government.

Ernakulam District Collector A P M Mohammad Hanish said here today that he had submitted a report to the state government last evening on the suspected diversion of the foodgrains, particularly wheat, while being transported from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) godown at Angamaly, near here.

The FCI godown, which was sealed on Wednesday on Mr Hanish's orders following reports of illegal diversion of foodgrains, was unsealed last night after the District Supply Officer gave his preliminary report after verifying the godown records.

''While we were not in doubt about the stock position at the godown, we suspected illegal diversion during transporation from the FCI godown to the PDS wholesale depots. In follow-up action, we have found a variance in the amount of grains lifted from the godown and the quantity unloaded at the wholesale depots,'' Mr Hanish said.

Three private lorries being used to transport the grains have been taken into custody and the ownership is being verified.

Also, foodgrain stocks with the wholesale depots and private millers are being verified.

While not quantifying the level of the diversion, Mr Hanish said it appeared to have been going on for ''quite some time''.

Earlier, media reports had alleged that around 30,000 kg of grains had been illegally diverted to private mills.

''The report has been submitted to the state government and the civil supplies department will take follow-up action,'' he added.

UNI ARC DK1508

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