Call it mismanagement or ill-preparedness of the government agencies, more than 30,000 bags of wheat have been rotting in an open storage at Baran village on the Patiala-Sirhind road for the past four years.
The highly rotten grains have also exposed the tall claims of Punjab government and its procurement agencies in making elaborated arrangements for proper storage of wheat stacked in the open. The grain is not fit for human consumption and has resulted in a loss of crores of rupees to the state government.
The foul smell emanating from rotten grains stored in the open godown of Punjab Agro Foodgrains Corporation Limited has become a bane of nearby residents.
Though the district authorities say the erring officials have been dismissed from service after filing a chargesheet against them, it has failed to lift the rotten grains for the past four years, which has now become a breeding ground for weevils, insects and worms.
According to information, the grains were stored in the godown six years ago and the agency failed to shift the same to covered godowns. If villagers are to be believed, they have informed the authorities concerned several times.
“It is a criminal wastage of farm produce of the nation. It is all due to poor planning of state government in handling foodgrains stored in the open areas,” said Patiala (rural) MLA Brahm Mohindra. “You cannot stand for minute near the godown due to unbearable stink,” he added.
Mohindra said the authorities should remove the rotten stock immediately to give relief for the residents.
Meanwhile, district manager of Punjab Agro Foodgrains Corporation Limited Ranvir Singh said tenders had been allotted for the removal and auction of the rotten stock. “The matter is sub-judice as the department has filed a chargesheet against inspector Kavita Walia, who has been,” he added.