A series of raids has exposed the extent of hoarding and blackmarketing of fertilisers in the district. On Saturday last, Vigilance sleuths had conducted raids on the premises of Pratik rice mill at Pratik Nagar in Sonepur. They seized 1,477 bags of fertilisers (IPL urea - 239 bags, IFFCO urea- 663 bags, Kribhco urea – 390 bags, Godavari MOP – 105 bags and Nagarjun MOP – 80 bags), each bag weighing 50 kg.
A case was registered against the managing director and director of the rice mill, Bantu Agarwal and Manoj Kumar Agarwal, respectively. On the same day, the Vigilance sleuths swooped down on another fertilizer dealer, Janmanjaya Sahu in Luthurba in Sundargarh district and found shortage in 460 bags of fertilisers and excess in 110 bags of various brands.
A similar raid was also conducted on the godown of Arun Kumar Agrawal at Amapali in Bargarh. Here, 4,297 bags were found short while there is excess in 974 bags of fertilisers.
Notwithstanding these regular raids by Vigilance sleuths to stop hoarding and black-marketing, farmers of Western Odisha are paying through their nose for a bag of fertilisers, particularly urea. Members of the local farmers’ body alleged that even as shortage of fertilizers has affected crops in many areas, the Agriculture Department is doing little to mobilise required stock of urea and other fertilisers.
Held for Smuggling Fertilisers Rourkela: One Raj Kumar Kesari was on Monday arrested for smuggling subsidized fertilisers. Birmitrapur police intercepted a pick-up van in the town and recovered 50 bags of fertilisers worth Rs 16,500. Birmitrapur SDPO Suman Dutta said they stopped and searched the vehicle leading to recovery of government supplied fertilisers of IFFCO.
He said the arrested person Kesari was probably taking the contraband to adjacent x. The vehicle driver managed to flee. A case has been registered.