46,000 tonnes of rice lying unused in warehouses
V Narasimhulu Nellore: The greed of the political leaders and the indifference of the officials have resulted in a loss of hundreds of crores of...
V Narasimhulu Nellore: The greed of the political leaders and the indifference of the officials have resulted in a loss of hundreds of crores of rupees. A small incident that occurred in Padugupaadu village of Giddangulu mandal in the district was blown out of proportion by the staff working in the warehouses and 46,000 tonnes of rice grains were lying unused in the warehouses. The situation is the same in Padugupadu and Kaakuturu in Nellore district, and Yerpedu in Chittoor district. As the warehouses at Venkateshwarapuram were found to be insufficient, the Food Corporation of India has decided to setup more warehouses at Kakutooru with more facilities. A special facility has been provided there in which a lorry and a train could directly go into the warehouse. In the year 2002, the FCI had constructed eight warehouses that have the storage capacity of 80,000 metric tonnes of food grains. With the FCI constructing warehouses in Kakutooru, the warehouses at Venkateshwarapuram were lying unused. This has resulted in the migration of 150 hamalies (labourers) working in Venkateshwarapuram to Kakutooru warehouses. The officials have allowed another 200 labourers to join and the money available was not sufficient to be distributed among all. The 150 hamalies were on a warpath demanding regularization of their services and the ruling party MLC Budaati Radhaiah was instigating them to fight with the government for regularization. As Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) President, Radhaiah took it upon himself to fight for the rights of the labourers. However, Radhaiah was allegedly taking heavy amounts of bribes, nearly Rs 2 lakh from each worker, resulting in the split of the workers into two groups. The two groups have started a dharna after stopping loading and unloading at the warehouses. The three varieties of rice, which was collected during the year 2011-12, has been stored in the warehouses measures totally up to 45,000 tonnes. Till now, no attempts were made to shift the rice grains from the warehouses. As a result, bugs, pests and cockroaches started making a beeline into the rice bags in the warehouses. According to official estimates, the cost of the rice, which has been stored in the warehouses for the past three years, runs into Rs 100 crore and basing on the market value, it could touch the Rs 300 crore mark. The labourers were lamenting that the government remained indifferent though there has been so much loss. Furthermore, the political leaders were showing more interest in making their personal profits. It is high time that the government takes more interest and take corrective measures.