More than 50,000 bags of wheat stacked by the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC) in the open plinths and not covered by polythene sheets at Nihal Singh Wala in the district have been completely damaged by rain during the last three years.
The wheat, procured by the Punjab Agro in 2011-12 from Moga district, had been stored on open plinths and fields rented by the agency in Nihal Singh Wala. The officials concerned had not allegedly paid attention to cover the stock with plastic tarpaulins. Likewise, huge stocks of wheat and paddy bags are also rotting in the open at Dharamkot, Bagahpurana, Ajitwal and Kot-Ise-Khan areas in the district. However, no official seems to be concerned.
Reliable sources told the Hindustan Times that a high-level inquiry has been ordered in this regard and is already looking into the matter. There are indications that some employees of the agency could face action in this connection soon, Inspector Baljit Singh of Punjab Agro admitted that thousands of wheat bags kep t in open godowns for long have been destroyed.
Social worker Harbans Singh Dhillon of Buttar village said that the Punjab and Haryana high court had issued directions to the central and state government agencies to take steps to shifting the wheat stocks to godowns as millions of tonnes of foodgrain are rotting in the open.
"But it seems that nobody paid attention in the Nihal Singh Wala area in this regard. Food experts have submitted a detailed report to the Punjab government that wet wheat stinks and becomes unfit for human consumption," said Dhillon.
Jyoti Bala Mattu, sub-divisional-magistrate (SDM) of Nihal Singh Wala, said, "It is a serious matter. I have marked an inquiry to naib tehsildar of the area concerned for finding out the actual facts regarding open plinths. Strict action will be taken against those found guilty without any delay."