ibnlive » India

Jun 14, 2013 at 08:07am IST

Cong eager for Food Security ordinance, grains rotting in many states

New Delhi: While the Congress is pushing hard for the Food Security ordinance, the Public Distribution System remains in shambles and foodgrains are still rotting in several states. CNN-IBN has been reporting on the crisis since 2010, following up ground reports with RTIs. In 2010, CNN-IBN had reported on grains rotting from India's foodbowl Punjab.

Bags of rotting grain in the fields of Punjab tell the story of the government's neglect and inefficiency.

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CNN-IBN had followed the report with RTI queries to understand why there was an acute lack of covered grain storage space. On the basis of RTI responses, CNN-IBN had learnt that even the Prime Minister was aware of the impending grain storage crisis.

PM's office had referred a letter to the Food Ministry, the then Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, exposed for his inability to save rotting grains. The minister had reversed a crucial policy, which no longer claims that open storage was scientific.

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"The real problem that I am facing as the Food Minister is the unavailability of enough storage," Sharad Pawar had said.

In 2011, CNN-IBN had again showed rotting grains from Punjab. The report even found a mention in the Supreme Court which asked why does the government not distribute the foodgrain instead of letting it rot.

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Despite apex court's guidelines against grain wastage across the country it continues to happen.

In 2011, CNN-IBN had also reported from Pulawal showing how large amounts of procured wheat from Haryana were rotting and eight local officers were suspended.

"I understand that there is some quantity which are rotten, we are taking all adequate measures which are possible. We want to improve," said Food Minister KV Thomas.

In 2012, CNN-IBN had shown stark pictures of rotting foodgrain from Madhya Pradesh and in Rajasthan how food godowns were used for storing alcohol even as grains were left out in the open. Rajasthan will soon receive another two lakh metric tons of wheat as a part of FCI's movement plan to the state.

For years, it has been seen how India is desperately short of grain storage space and as a result vast amounts of foodgrain are rotting and despite the government promises to set things right the rot just goes on.