DHARMAPURI: Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Consumer Protection and Price Control R Sakkarapani on Wednesday denied allegations that 7,000 tonnes of paddy have gone missing from the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) open warehouse at Vettillaikaranpallam near Adhiyamankottai.
In a press statement, the minister said, “The warehouse had a stock of 22,273 tonnes of paddy, of which 7,174 tonnes were sent for grinding to various mills. Presently 15,099 tonnes of paddy is in stock. It is because of this, allegations have been made that 7,000 tonnes of paddy have gone missing. We have directed the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation to conduct a detailed investigation into the matter and find out the truth.”
Responding to criticism made by AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami on the issue, the minister said, “Chief Minister MK Stalin has accomplished something which others have not been able to do by bringing in foreign investors to the state. The opposition leader is spreading falsehood about the government because of jealousy.”
District collector K Santhi, who inspected the warehouse, told TNIE,” It is not possible for over 7,000 tonnes to go missing. We had over 22,273 tonnes of paddy of which 7,174 tonnes were sent for grinding. It is possible that this is being alleged as the missing paddy. Our preliminary investigation shows very low variation in stock.”
Santhi said, “Since allegations have been raised, we are liquidating the paddy stock and sending it to over 68 mills across the state. We have set up over 130 stacks of which over 122 stacks are full and eight stacks are partially full. We would get accurate data after the stock is fully liquidated. We will cross-check the stock with invoices. This would give us accurate data,” she said.
Over 100 workers and 120 lorries are involved in transporting paddy to mills. A team of officers from the civil supplies vigilance unit is monitoring the warehouse and mills, Santhi said. An official of the civil supplies department said, “Usually we stack around 2,500 bags of paddy. Recently we stacked over 3,600 bags and there are a total of 130 stacks. People looking at it from outside could have thought that paddy has gone missing,” he said.