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Grains left to rot in Punjab, officials say situation worse this year


H R Venkatesh,CNN-IBN
Jun 17, 2013 at 10:28am IST

Gurdaspur: The government might be trying hard to get its ambitious Food Bill passed in Parliament, but it is doing very little to improve storage infrastructure for foodgrains in the country.

With the monsoon lashing the fertile state of Punjab, precious foodgrains are set to rot because of the lack of storage facitilies. Thousands of bags of grain are lying in an open ground in Gurdaspur in Patiala district and farmers told CNN-IBN that the government is trying to sell them at half the price even though they don't look good for human consumption.

This has also led to the rise of prices of wheat in Punjab and Haryana as the market fears less supply of foodgrains this year. And in addition to the callous approach of the government towards creation of storage space for foodgrains, the other problem which exists is the poor quality of storage sacks.

"Condition this year is worse than last year. People are dying of hunger and grain is rotting like this. And we will be blamed in inquiries," Punjab Grains Procurement Corporation Inspector Kanwaljeet Singh said.

Even pest control is proving difficult as the storage sacks rip open when they are moved from their positions. "Once the total grain loss is calculated the guilty suppliers will have to pay for the losses," Food Supplies Officer, Gurdaspur Sita Ram said.

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