Millennium Post

Food dept to urge state Chief Secy for CID probe into rice quality debacle

Kolkata: The state Food and Supplies department is sending a letter to the state Chief Secretary urging him to initiate a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probe into the complaints of poor quality rice.
"We want to find out the route as to how inferior quality of rice have their made way into some ration shops particularly in Nadia and Jhargram district. We are writing to the proper authority to initiate a CID probe in this regard," state Food & Supplies minister Jyotipriya Mallick said.
The minister held a meeting with dealers and distributors' association across the state at Khadya Bhavan on Friday.
It may be mentioned that preliminary enquiry by the department has revealed that 'atap' rice, which is consumed in parts of North Bengal, has been mixed with boiled rice in South Bengal by a section of dealers and distributors.
Around 75,000 metric tonne of 'atap' rice is lying in as many as 50 shops in four districts of North Bengal like Jalpaiguri, South and North Dinajpur and Alipurduar.
"This will be sent to our godown of 'atap' rice in Dabgram. 9,550 metric tonne of rice will be required for Darjeeling while 7,000 metric tonne will be needed for 26 tea gardens. "This step has been taken to prevent the supply of this rice to other parts of the state where people hardly consume 'atap' rice.
It may be mentioned that in the wake of complaints regarding rice, a total of 44 persons have been either showcaused or suspended for selling this disputed quality of rice.
The Food Department will constitute a state as well as a district level committee for a stricter vigil and also to prevent this sort of incident in future.
The district level committee will reach the spot and address any problem on a priority basis while the state level committee will take stock of the entire situation by holding a meeting every fifteen days that will be chaired by the Food minister himself.
The minister had stumbled upon more than 100 sacks of rice from Jalandhar stored at the godown of distributor Mika Singh Baluka at Begunia, Satgachia area under Memari Block II in East Burdwan on Wednesday night.
Poor quality of paddy and rice stored was at the godown of one Balai Chandra Adhya in the same area.
The stuff was infested with insects and when asked about its procurement, Adhya could not provide satisfactory answers.
The minister also raided ration shops at Satgachia in Kalna, East Burdwan and found poor quality rice in the shop of one Ranjit Bhattacharjee. The supply of rice from the existing stock was stopped in all the cases and arrangements were made for new stock.
The minister had reiterated that ration shops, which are under scanner for the last few days for selling inferior quality of rice,
had procured paddy or rice from elsewhere illegally and not from the stock of the Food department.
Meanwhile, SDO Salt Lake along with a team of food department officials raided ration shops at Falguni and Sukanta Nagar and took immediate action after finding low quality rice in two shops.

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