All thanks to the HAFED department that wheat worth over Rs. 1.4 crore meant for the poor has rotten and marred with foul stench at New Grain Market here.
The wheat was procured by the state’s premier warehousing agency HAFED in 2011, and was to be transferred to a covered area for scientific storage, but according to reasons known best to the agency, it was kept lying unattended here under open sky and rough weather.
Inspector Jaipal Kumar from the department concerned, who has been entrusted the task of looking after New Grain Market procurement here, said: “Now, nearly 10,000 quintal of the rotten wheat, packed in over 20,000 sacks, would be auctioned to birds and animals farms as feed.”
The wheat should have been sent to some godown or a storage center, but due to space crunch it could not be done, said the inspector, while explaining the reason behind the officials’ laxity.
A junior official of the marketing board, who wish not to be identified, told Hindustan Times that the loss was two-sided — first, there is a huge loss of wheat, and second, the payment of the rent by the department for the area where the wheat has been piled up.
Otherwise too, the situation at New Grain Market is precarious, fresh procured wheat produce is lying in open and drenched by rain over the last two days.
Savita Saini, secretary, Sampla grain market, said the rotten wheat was the responsibility of HAFED department, adding that she had written to the department repeatedly, but to no avail.
Haryana cooperation and housing minister Satpal Sangwan, who carried out a surprise visit at grain markets in the district on Friday, said if any negligence was found on the part of the department officials, strict action would be taken against them.
Sampla grain market falls under the ambit of home constituency (Garhi-Sampla-Kiloi) of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.