After the scam came to light in April, state education department had ordered a preliminary probe to ascertain irregularities in supply of rice for schools.(HT File)
After the scam came to light in April, state education department had ordered a preliminary probe to ascertain irregularities in supply of rice for schools.(HT File)

Lahaul & Spiti ‘midday meal scam’: HP agriculture minister demands vigilance probe

Even though education department has sought details from its office in Keylong about the scam, government is likely to order a vigilance inquiry to ascertain veracity of allegations.
Hindustan Times, Shimla | By Gaurav Bisht, Shimla
UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2018 01:32 PM IST

Himachal Pradesh agriculture minister Ram Lal Markanda has demanded a vigilance probe into midday meal scam, which came into light in April 2018.

“I have written to government. I have demanded a vigilance inquiry into the midday meal scam,” agriculture minister and legislator from Lahaul and Spiti Ram Lal Markanda said.

He said rice meant for midday meal scheme was not supplied to schools from three years in the region. It is a matter of inquiry.

Even though education department has sought details from its office in Keylong about the scam, government is likely to order a vigilance inquiry to ascertain veracity of allegations.

After the scam came to light in April, state education department had ordered a preliminary probe to ascertain irregularities in supply of rice for schools.

In September, the preliminary inquiry found that food and civil supplies department had lifted rice for schools but did not supply them. It further revealed that the schools had purchased rice for students through school management committee funds.

Food and civil supplies minister Kishan Kapoor has directed food department to look into irregularities in supply of rice to schools in Lahaul and Spiti.

Minister has directed the department to inquire into the role of food and civil supplies officer who were responsible for supply of rice to the schools in regions,” said an official of food and civil supplies department who requested anonymity.

“We have sought details from our deputy director office and also requested subdivisional magistrate to ascertain more details,” the official said.

Elementary education director Rohit Jamwal denied that government has ordered a magisterial probe. “Since there is a single line administration, we have asked subdivisional magistrate in Kaza to ascertain veracity of facts,” he said.

There are nearly 6,512 children enrolled in government schools in Spiti. The 98 schools, which haven’t received rice supply from 2016, did not get 896 quintals of rice from civil supplies department.

The tribal Lahaul and Spiti region remains cut-off from rest of the country for six months, following heavy snowfall at 13,050 feet high Rohtang Pass.

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