The divisional commissioner has promised an inquiry after animal carcasses were found in the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department (CAPD) warehouse. The revelation has again brought the issue concerning food stock maintenance and supply in the city under the scanner.
Divisional commissioner Shantmanu and a team of officials while conducting a routine checking of foodgrain stock at warehouse came across horse carcasses in the store. It evoked serious public sentiments and resentment prevails against the department's nonchalance over the maintenance of godowns meant for storing foodgrains.
Swinging into action, the state administration has initiated an inquiry to find out that how animal remains reached the godown.
In January 2012, two senior employees of CAPD were suspended by the then minister for consumer affairs, Qamar Ali Akhoon for not maintaining proper records and hygiene at the godowns. A supervisor was suspended and an assistant director faced action for criminal negligence.
Though it was claimed that the old godown at warehouse contained rotten and discarded foodgrains, people refuse to admit it and charge the state administration with sleeping over the issue while they were being provided with unhygienic and poisonous food over the time.
"This is just eyewash from the state administration to cover up its misdeeds. Why stock rotten and discarded foodgrains in the warehouse when these could have been destroyed or burnt, as is usually done. Government is playing with the lives of people," said Subhash Chander Gupta, a Rehari resident and a frequent buyer of essential commodities from the warehouse.
However, the official version is that the JAKFED godown was being used by the CAPD to store discarded rice and flour and was unused for last many months. It is near to the CAPD godown from where the supply of ration is ensured to different districts of Jammu.
Jammu West Assembly Movement (JWAM) president Sunil Dimple, who was present during the divisional commissioner's visit to the site, while accusing the state administration of indifference, said a high-level inquiry into the matter should be initiated to bring facts before the people. "It reflects the inefficiency of the consumer affairs department and there is every possibility that quality is not being maintained in the godowns," he charged.
"Directions have been issued for an immediate inquiry as some animal carcasses have been found in the old godown at warehouse. The matter is under investigation but the godown was not in use and only stored discarded food grains. Steps will be taken to prevent such incidents in future," said divisional commissioner Shantmanu.
He assured that that there will be no compromise on the quality of foodgrain being supplied to people and every care is being taken to ensure hygienic ration.