Rodents feast on paddy in godowns

Rodents feast on paddy in godowns

About 4.94 lakh quintal paddy lying unattended at 93 warehouses in Mandya district since the past six months, is being destroyed by moisture and being attacked by rodents. 

The State government had purchased the paddy from Food Corporation of India last year at a cost of Rs 86.56 crore by paying Rs 1,600 per quintal, to be supplied to fair price shops. But, as the paddy was not hulled, it was left to rot in the godowns.

While the paddy was available at Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,400 per quintal at the open market, the government had purchased it for Rs 1,600 support price, and in total stored 5.41 lakh quintals in godowns across the district. Out of this, hulling was done only for 47,000 quintals.

As all the godowns were full, the purchase of paddy at support price was stopped in the last days. The private godowns were also utilised for storing paddy and the officials have no account on the rent paid so far to them.

The government had earlier paid Rs 120 per quintal for hulling. Later, when it slashed the price to Rs 10, it was opposed by the mill owners, who stopped hulling activities. As the paddy was stored in godowns, the officials of Food Corporation of India too did not take any action to solve the problem.

Now, as it is harvesting period, there is no place to store fresh paddy that has started arriving. The mill owners are demanding Rs 75 per quintal for hulling and had also staged protests and submitted a memorandum.

However, the government had not responded to their demands, and that is also one of the reasons for the paddy lying in godowns.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Food and Civil Supplies Corporation’s Managing Director Panchegowda said except a few, majority of the mill owners have opposed the price saying it as unscientific.

Rice Mill Owners Association President Ramakrishna demanded the government at least pay Rs 50 per quintal.

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