Rice for flood-affected people rots in warehouse
Kendrapara: Nearly 200 quintals of rice continue to rot in a warehouse of a block headquarters in Odisha's Kendrapara district.
The cereal, now reduced unfit for human consumption, was procured as part of relief materials for free distribution to flood affected people in Rajkanika block.
Warehouses in Sihopada and Nahunipada gram panchayat house the rotten and worm-infested rice.
"It’s an act of criminal negligence on part of authorities concerned. The foodgrains should have reached the flood affected people during the 2008 year flood. But it did not reach them. The rice was hoarded in godowns for strange reason. Later it was brought to the notice of local officials. But the rice was not disposed of and as a result it rotted,” Debendra Sharma, district Congress committee president, said.
Rajkanika Block Development Officer, Basudeb Mahali said, "Rice could not be distributed then as the local administration then had surplus stock rice. The matter had been informed to the district food and civil supplies department and Women and child welfare department."
Instructions were issued to divert the materials for mid day meal scheme for school children. But the concerned authorities did not act on time. As a result, the food stock has now turned unfit for human consumption. The quantity of rice that has got damaged in the panchayat godowns is nearly 196 quintals, he said.
“An inquiry has been ordered into the incident. Those found guilty would be taken to task,” Kendrapara Collector Durga Prasad Behera said.