New Delhi: BJP President Nitin Gadkari
on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that
excess foodgrains in government godowns should be distributed
free of cost to the poor affected by droughts and floods in
different parts of the country.
"I would like to suggest to allocate the food grains
lying in the FCI godowns to the flood/drought affected states
as central assistance for free distribution among the
victims," Gadkari said in his letter to the PM.
He suggested this could be done through respective
public distribution system and other methods with "top
priority to help those who have been uprooted and the farmers
whose crop has been destroyed".
Gadkari said the Supreme Court had on August 12, 2010
asked the Centre to consider free distribution of food grain
to the poor instead of allowing it to rot in Food Corporation
of India godowns.
The BJP President maintained that 605 lakh tonnes of
foodgrains were lying in government godowns against the
optimum storage capacity of 425 lakh tonnes.
"As a result 180 lakh tonnes are lying in the open
godowns and getting rotten," he said.
He expressed concern over the worsening flood
situation in Uttarakhand, Eastern Bihar and Northern Uttar
Pradesh, as well as some low-lying areas of Delhi.
On the other hand, as a result of the unusually
erratic monsoon, many areas have been officially declared as
drought affected, he said.