NEW DELHI: At a time when it was reported that migrants died due to hunger and starvation during the lockdown period in April and May, data revealed that over 1,550 tonnes of food grains got damaged in Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns.
According to Ministry of Consumer Affairs data, May witnessed nearly 26 tonnes of food grains damage while June recorded damage of over 1453 tonnes. July and August recorded wastage of 41 and 51 tonnes respectively. As per the data, zero damage of foodgrains were reported during the March and April.
Comparing with the data between April-June, the reported damage of foodgrains in FCI during this year was very high. Damage of foodgrains in FCI godown during April-June was nearly 100 tonnes while the damage during April-June was nearly 1500 tonnes.
According to the ministry, foodgrains available with the FCI are generally stored in a scientific manner in covered godowns, with various preservation measures like fumigation and treatment with pesticides.
In spite of all precautions, small quantity of foodgrains may become non-issuable due to various reasons like natural calamities, damages in transit.
Officials also said that whenever accrual of any quantity of damaged foodgrains is noticed, each case is investigated immediately and action by the concerned authority is invariably taken against officers/officials found responsible. Nearly 125 officials have been found responsible between the years 2014-2018 for damages and appropriate actions have been taken accordingly.
Under the Phase-l of the pro-poor Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, the government had allocated a total of about l2l LMT of ftodgrains to all States/UTs for additional free-of-cost distribution to the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act,2013 (NFSA) for a period of 3 months ie. from April to June 2020.