Govt's rice, wheat offer has many takers

With a photo ID anyone can buy 50 kg each of rice and wheat every six months

Govt's rice, wheat offer has many takers

A view of the KFCSC godown in Kadirenahalli in Bangalore. dh photo

The foodgrains, supplied by the Centre to check food inflation, are being sold through nine warehouses of the Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Corporation.

During the launch of the scheme in Mandya, there were complaints of the foodgrains being worm-infested. On Wednesday, a Deccan Herald reporter visited three godowns in the City - two in Shantinagar and one in Kadirenahalli - and found people purchasing the grains had no major complaints with the quality of the grains considering the price at which they are sold.

Bags of wheat in the godowns, however, were  infested with red weevil beetles.
 The rice and wheat supplied to BPL families and APL families are same. But in case of APL families, they can purchase from the KFCSC godowns by producing any photo identity card, either issued by government or a private company. Each buyer is entitled to 50 kg each of rice and wheat for a period of six months.

Rice is sold at Rs 13 a kg and wheat at Rs 9.50 per kg. Rice is a mix of whole and broken grains. Buyers were heard saying that they will have to clean it before using. The rice of same quality costs between Rs 20 and 25 per kg in the open market. Wheat varies between Rs 16 and 20.

Rathnamma, who purchased 50 kg of rice at the godown in Shantinagar, was satisfied with the quality. “I don’t get rice of this quality at this rate in the open market. We have been using the same rice for many years. I have no complaints regarding the quality”, she said.

The godown in Kadirenahalli (Padmanabha Nagar) was filled with red weevil, a pest normally found in bags of wheat and jowar.

No worm-infested wheat

Depot Manager S V Sundar said wheat bags had been infested with insects at the godowns of Food Corporation of India. “We avoid selling such products in the godown,” he said. Shantinagar food godown depot manager G Nagesh said he had been instructed by his superiors not to sell worm-infested foodgrains. “The buyers are given a choice to select bags in the godown. Not all bags infested”, he said.

Kadirenahalli godown reported the highest sales over the last three days - 8.5 quintals of rice and 21 quintals of wheat. “Bangaloreans are used to ready-to-use clean grains. Hopefully, the demand for the subsidised grains will grow in the days to come”, said Vijay Kumar, Deputy Director, Food and Civil Supplies Department.

Harish Gowda, Secretary, Food & Civil Supplies Department said the department has no complaints regarding the quality of foodgrains received from the Centre. “There are no worms but only black beetles commonly found in gunny bags. We have been supplying the same quality of rice to BPL families. Now it is being made available to the APL families”, he said.

The Centre supplied an additional 90,636 tonnes of rice and 69,739 tonnes of wheat in May this year. The government distributed the grain among BPL card holders, but 38,553 tonnes of rice and 59,456 tonnes of wheat remained in the godowns.

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