Subsidised rice distribution to 17 depots hit
By Shalet Jimmy | ENS | Published: 07th September 2013 09:55 AM |
Despite assurances by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob of ensuring smooth supply of essential items by Supplyco during the festival season, Onam celebrations could be in trouble as subsidised rice distribution to 17 depots across the state is likely to be badly affected, as the company in charge of rice distribution to these depots has terminated distribution abruptly.
To make things worse, the promised raw rice distribution by FCI across the state is yet to start.
According to purchasing order number 13688, the company, Chirakkal Modern Rice Mill, was supposed to distribute 150 loads of matta rice (brown rice ) to 17 depots before September 7.
Highly-placed Supplyco officials said the company terminated the distribution abruptly citing that they were supposed to distribute only 15 loads and the 150 loads mentioned in the purchasing order was a clerical error. “Rice distribution to depots in Nilambur, Kochi, Ernakulam, Mavelikkara, Thirurangadi, Kanhangad, Mananthavady, Thalassery, Sultan Bathery, Wadakkanchery, Quilandy, Vadakkara, Koduvally, Thalipparambu, Kalpetta, Chengannur and Kasargod will be hit,” sources said.
Confirming this, Supplyco CMD Shyam Jagannathan said strict instructions have been given to the company to distribute the rice before September 13.
“The Chirakkal Modern Rice Mill has been asked not to stop distribution of rice. If they don’t comply, they will have to face the music,” he said.
Jacob said he would soon contact the officials to inquire into the situation.
“The government will not allow any hurdles in rice distribution. There will not be any bottlenecks in FCI rice distribution also,” he said.
Meanwhile, officials of Chirakkal Modern Rice Mill maintained that ‘150’ loads mentioned in the purchasing order was a clerical mistake.
“We are supposed to provide only 15 loads of rice to the depots,” said Colbay, official concerned with Supplyco dealings of the company. However Supplyco officials alleged that the move by the mill is part of an attempt to sell its own brand ‘Periyar’ which costs `42 per kg in the market.
“When we warned them of strict action, they said that they could not be included in the black list as ‘Periyar’ brand was not under the company name shown in the purchase order. They told us that the company’s name in the purchasing order is ‘Chirakkal Modern Rice Mill’. But the brand ‘Periyar’ is under the name ‘Chirakkal Agro-rice Mill’. Hence no action can be taken. But their email id in the purchasing order is firstname.lastname@example.org, which is a concrete evidence that both companies are the same,” the officials pointed out.
Now Supplyco will have to again float an e-tender to resume distribution. With Onam round the corner, it is not a plausible option.
‘Special Arrangements in Place’
T’Puram: With the prices of essential commodities skyrocketing during Onam season, the Food and Civil Supplies Department has made special arrangements for market intervention through Supplyco outlets across the state. Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob said here on Friday that elaborate arrangements have been made to sell rice and other provisions at subsidised rates. He said other than the 10 kg rice that is provided at Rs 21, four varieties of rice will be provided this season with a subsidy of 21 per cent. Matta rice, Jaya, Kuruva and raw rice will be available.