BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has asked the state's Economic Offence Wing (EOW) to probe a matter pertaining to the supply of sub-standard quality rice under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in Mandla and Balaghat.
Instructions about EOW's probe into the matter was issued by the CM at a high-level meeting on Thursday wherein Chouhan blamed former CM Kamal Nath's government for taking no action on the issue.
The sub-standard quality rice, which is not fit for human consumption, was procured from the millers in Balaghat under the public distribution system in February this year.
After inspection, it was found that over 3,136 metric tonnes rice in Balaghat and 1,658 metric tonnes of rice in Mandla, were that of sub-standard quality and subsequently, the supply and transport of this rice was discontinued, which will now be replaced by rice of the standard quality.
Corruption will not be tolerated at any level, Chouhan said, adding that cases related to quality of food grains and ration scam should be investigated thoroughly, including those in the past and instructed officials to take strict measures.
A total of 51 joint teams have been formed and 284 of 1000 samples of stored rice have been tested so far.
As per information received from the local offices of the Food Corporation of India, 72 samples are fit for distribution, while 57 samples do not meet the standards.
Remaining samples of rice from other districts of the state will also be completed this week.
The warehouses and mills of the millers, who had supplied the low-quality rice are also being searched. FIR has been registered against the related millers.
Meanwhile, according to reports from Balaghat district, the District Collector Deepak Arya has issued orders to lodge FIRs against 18 rice mills owners and nine officers and employees of Warehouse Corporation and State Civil Supplies Corporation, including the district manager of the Civil Supplies Corporation, who have been prima facie found guilty in the matter.
The Balaghat district collector has also asked for electricity connections of the respective rice mills to be discontinued.
The union ministry has also requested Madhya Pradesh government to withhold rice stock available in the depots for further investigation and re-categorisation and also intimated to the state about “grave lapses by the district officers, officials and authorities.”