'Pesticides, fertilisers worth Rs 2.08 lakh dumped in well'

'Pesticides, fertilisers worth Rs 2.08 lakh dumped in well'

Enquiry team submits report to the Horticulture department Secretary

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Zilla Panchayat CEO P Shivashankar said the team had found that pesticides and fertilisers worth about Rs 2,08,356 were dumped in the well. “We have made a list of lapses from the Horticulture department side. However, we can not point at one particular official responsible for the dumping of expiry dated pesticides and fertilisers.”

“There was no document to prove that one particular official was responsible for the dumping of pesticides and fertilisers with expiry dates. The Deputy Director would have asked some subordinates to dispose of the material since they had crossed the expiry date,” he said.

No match

The team had found that there was no match between the ledgder which was kept for noting down the purchase of the pesticides and the distribution of fertilisers and the pesticides among the farmers. Inspite of having unused stocks of fertilisers and pesticides, the department went ahead with the purchase of pesticides and fertilisers every year, without checking the old stocks.”

“In this case, however, it appears that despite the low demand, the department has purchased large quantities of the material,” the CEO noted. The officials had not maintained the records on the purchase and distribution of fertilisers properly, he added.  The enquiry team included Chief Accounts Officer B Thimmappa, Agriculture department Joint Director Padmayya Naik, Mangalore taluk Agriculture Assistant Director and Account Officer. The team had checked the records from 2005-06 till date to come to any conclusion, he added.

It may be reaclled that the incident came to light after a few members of the public, who had seen dumping of boxes brought in a vehicle belonging to the Agriculture Department, in the well, informed a few media persons on June 10. The following day of the incident, the driver of the vehicle who had dumped the boxes containing fertilisers and pesticides had committed suicide, giving scope for suspicion and rumours.