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Food grains rot in FCI godowns across India
Published on 27 Jul. 2010 11:21 PM IST
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: Heaps of food grains are rotting in Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns across the country due to apathetic attitude of the authorities concerned, reveals a right to information (RTI) query.
The finding shows that as on Jan 1 this year, 10,688 lakh tonnes of food grains were found damaged in FCI depots, enough to feed over six lakh people for over 10 years. Between 1997 and 2007, 1.83 lakh tonnes of wheat, 6.33 lakh tonnes of rice, 2.20 lakh tonnes of paddy and 111 lakh tonnes of maize were damaged in different FCI godowns.
“The FCI godowns have enough space to store food grains properly. Yet the grains are rotting in open spaces on their premises while millions are starving. It’s a national shame,” said Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, who filed the RTI application on January 6, 2010. The storing capacity of covered godowns of FCI is around 256.64 lakh tonnes and the total stored stock is around 218.35 lakh tonnes.
In northern region, the total capacity of FCI’s covered godowns is 127.48 lakh tonnes, while only 111.22 lakh tonnes of food grains are stored in the region.
In southern region, the total capacity of the covered godowns is 57.39 lakh tonnes while the total stock comes up to 54.24 lakh tonnes. In the eastern region, the total covered godowns are 23.99 lakh tonnes and the stocks held is just 17.10 lakh tonnes. In the northeast, 4.48 lakh tonnes can be stored but the available grains are 3.50 lakh tonnes. The western region statistics reveal that 43.30 lakh tonnes are the available total covered godowns capacity and the available stocks are just 32.29 lakh tonnes.
Crime to waste foodgrains: SC
The Supreme Court has asked the government to prosecute those involved in pilferage of PDS foodgrains and said it was a crime to waste even a single grain in the country where “people are starving”.
The government may consider constructing adequate warehouses or food storage facilities on a long-term basis. “On a short term basis, they can also consider hiring warehouses or putting up water-proof tents to save the grain. But all-out efforts must be made to ensure that not a single grain is wasted,” a Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and B S Chauhan said in an order.

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