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May 28, 2011 at 09:11am IST

Wheat godowns rented out while grain rot in open

Narsinghpur: Thousands of tones of wheat is lying in the open, waiting to rot in Narsinghpur, while the Madhya Pradesh Warehousing Corporation has rented 33 godowns to private businessmen to store soyabean.

The 33 godowns belong to the Narsinghpur agriculture produce procurement centre were handed over to the state warehousing corporation in 2010 for storage of wheat. But, this year, the moment the wheat was taken out, these godowns were rented out to private businessmen - a big reason why freshly procured wheat has no storage is going bad. What's worse, the corporation says they will have to wait for the private parties to vacate them.

The State Warehousing Corporation Manager Ajay Nagpure said, “The Godowns were empty so we rented them out. The ware housing corporation can do that. Now when they get vacated wheat can again be stored in them."

The warehousing corporation has refused to take any responsibility even as thousands of tones of wheat are lying in the open in Narsinghpur itself. Unseasonal rains have already damaged wheat in Jabalpur and other parts of the state and a similar fate awaits the food grains here as well.

The procurement centre secretary has alleged corruption by warehousing officials.

"The warehousing corporation has resorted to threatening. These are our godowns. Our wheat is rotting in the open and soyabeen of private business men is lying inside theses godowns." Narsinghpur procurement Centre Secretary Ashwani Dharolia said.

Since the procurement of wheat began this season, the warehousing corporation has blamed the food corporation of India for lack of storage space.

Now the state government says it will rent out private godowns, but who will enforce order on the corporation it controls?

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