As the state prepares to host the first-ever Progressive Punjab Agriculture Summit in Mohali, it seems to have woefully failed in its duty to ensure storage and distribution of wheat its farmers grow so painstakingly.
Tonnes of wheat have been rotting in open outside the Punjab Agro Foodgrains Corporation (PAFC) godown near Maur Mandi, Bathinda, here for several days at least.
Thousands of wheat bags bearing names of procuring agencies including Pungrain, Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation, Food Corporation of India (FCI) are lying scattered at the place.
The area is stinking of infested grain, with the intermittent showers making it worse.
Wheat procured for the year 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 is rotting at the spot. Punjab State Grains Procurement Corporation is embossed on most of the bags.
When contacted, PAFC district manager CK Goyal claimed that he had apprised the higher authorities of the condition of wheat at that place.
"There has been some negligence in maintaining the godown," he admitted.
However, he also claimed that FCI was responsible for this wastage as the Central agency had failed in timely disposal of the crop.
PAFC managing director Kahan Singh Pannu said that he would look in to the matter.
"We are in the process of auctioning the old stocks of wheat. Certainly, the matter will be investigated to fix responsibility and whether any action has already been taken. In many such cases, action has already been taken against the guilty officials," he said.