Saturday, June 15, 2024

FCI delay in lifting process


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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The process of lifting and unloading of food items from the godown of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) near Meter Factory at Forest Colony has been questioned by many distraught wholesalers of the state who alleged that they had to wait for three to four days for the lifting of PDS food items mainly rice to be completed.

“I came to FCI continuously for four days hoping lifting process of rice packets is allowed but it is a waste of money and time”, a wholesaler from Shillong (name withheld on request) rued.

The wholesalers has also complained that this is not the first time that the FCI has delayed the lifting process while adding “The past few years has been easy for us but this year with the new Depot In-charge in place, everything has turned upside down leaving us in grave trouble.”

Meanwhile according to sources, most of the time, lifting of food items by respective wholesalers lapsed due to the continuous unloads of wheat. “I don’t understand why so much wheat is needed in a state where majority of the population consume rice”, said source in surprise.

After inspecting this place on Thursday, this scribe found out that many empty trucks were lined outside the FCI waiting for the items to be loaded for delivering it to respective blocks in the state. “Everyday is the same, we come here to know that that there is not going to be any lifting”, said one truck driver.

It was also found out that about 13 trucks loaded with rice packets and 29 trucks loaded with wheat packets arrived at the godown here on Wednesday and the same was found out on Thursday. “Lifting had to be delayed as wheat had to be unloaded thereby affecting the common people indirectly”, the source added.

 The source also alleged that sometimes retailers give excuses when people come to ask for atta or moida saying that they get stale and bad wheat. “The fact is that they sell out the wheat to other states”, the source alleged while adding that “There is rampant corruption even within the FCI.”

Meanwhile, Lifting Inspector of FCI (Shillong) J Kharmalki on Thursday has denied allegations saying after a lapse in lifting process crossing beyond the 20th of every month; an extension is granted from the Directorate of Food and Civil Supply and the lifting process is usually completed before the 4th of the following month.

He mentioned that about 10,000 quintals of wheat is allotted per month and about 30,000 quintals of rice is allotted per month for Shillong.

This delay in the lifting of food items is also not only in the case of PDS food items but also in the Mid Day Meal food items. “Sometimes late allotment from the office results in delay of the lifting process”, Kharmalki said while admitting that during the months April, Amy and June, there has been no lifting of the Mid Day Meal food items and even after the period has lapsed, no extension has been granted.

 He however mentioned that extension for PDS items is granted from the head office in Shillong but for scheme like the MDM, extension is granted from the Ministry of Food and Civil Supply.

Irked by such delays, the wholesalers has asked the FCI to maintain coordination in the lifting and unloading process for timely delivery of PDS items for the benefit of the people of the state.


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