The Food Corporation of India (FCI) and district administration have begun trading blame after huge quantities of wheat were found damaged by exposure to rain at an FCI warehouse.
On Monday evening, Ghaziabad District Magistrate Hridesh Kumar ordered checks at the Hapur warehouse of the FCI. He said that large quantity of wheat, brought in from Punjab, was feared damaged. Kumar said that local residents had informed the administration about thousands of wheat bags lying in the open at the Hapur warehouse that were exposed to the heavy showers on Sunday and Monday.
"We sent our officials for inspection and it was found that large quantity of wheat, lying in the open, was damaged due to rains. We have informed the FCI state officials,"the district magistrate said.
He, however, refused, to comment on the extent of damage or on the number of bags exposed to the rains; he said it was FCI’s internal matter to check the extent.
Sources, however, said thousands of gunny bags filled with wheat were possibly ruined due to exposure in the rain at Hapur.
On the other hand, the FCI officials at Lucknow denied the Ghaziabad administration's claims. Lucknow's FCI officials said there was no damage to the stock.
Instead, the FCI claimed that the state government has been lax and hadn't picked up 10,157 metric tonnes of wheat as per the release-orders issued on July 2.
"We have proper arrangements and damage-prevention for the stock, and have never reported any such damage in the past. The claims made by the local administration officials are not correct. In fact, the state government is not supporting us and not lifting their stocks,"said D.K. Bhaskar, Area Manager at FCI Hapur.
Deepak Sharma, Deputy General Manager (Personnel & Movement) at FCI said from Lucknow that no stock suffered damage. He said FCI officials were in process of writing to the local administration officials about their claims.
The warehouse at Hapur has a capacity of stocking 64,370 metric tonnes of wheat. According to FCI officials, around 21000 metric tonnes were presently stocked there.