Over 10 lakh tonnes of food grains worth several hundred crores of rupees, which could have fed over one crore hungry people for a year, were damaged in Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns during the last one decade.
The damages were suffered despite the FCI spending Rs 242 crore while trying to prevent any loss of food grains during storage. Ironically another 2.59 crore was spent just to dispose off the rotten food grains.
These startling facts came in reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by a Delhi resident. FCI informed that 10 lakh tonnes of food grain was damaged in the godowns of government owned agency which is responsible for procurement and distribution of food grains across the country.
It comes at a time when a United Nations report has claimed that 63 per cent children in India go to bed without any food.
The FCI informed that 1.83 lakh tonnes of wheat, 3.95 lakh tonnes of rice, 22 thousand tonnes of paddy and 110 tonnes of maize were damaged between 1997 to 2007.
The FCI said in the northern region -- UP, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi -- the damage incurred was seven lakh tonnes and the PSU spent Rs 87.15 crore to prevent the loss besides spending over Rs 60 lakh to dispose off the damaged food grain.