Rampant smuggling of PDS rice to Maharashtra

Rampant smuggling of PDS rice to Maharashtra
Highlights

The subsidised rice, meant for distribution among the poorest of the poor, of Mancherial and Nirmal districts is finding its way to Wirur in Maharashtra by train. PDS rice smuggling is going on unchecked as the officials allegedly look the other way.

Adilabad: The subsidised rice, meant for distribution among the poorest of the poor, of Mancherial and Nirmal districts is finding its way to Wirur in Maharashtra by train. PDS rice smuggling is going on unchecked as the officials allegedly look the other way.

According to a conservative estimate, at least Rs 10 crore subsidised rice is being smuggled to Wirur every month.The rice mafia has established godowns at Mancherial, Kagaz Nagar, Bellampalli and Asifabad towns to stock the smuggled rice en route to Wirur.

The mafia is using the women to transport the rice to Wirur by train for a paltry sum of Rs 200. Their job ends upon handing over the rice to their contacts.

The officials suspect that two smugglers from Mancherial are illegally transporting subsidised rice worth Rs 10 lakh per day.

A resident of Mancherial, Prabhakar Reddy, expressed his indignation at the official inaction to check smugglers.

At least 1,000 quintals of smuggled rice reach Wirur from Bellampalli, Kagaz Nagar, Asifabad and Mancherial as Wirur is very close to these four towns. There are hundreds of traders at Wirur, who buy the smuggled rice. The moment the rice lands, they take care of the rest of the business. At least 100 workers load the smuggled rice into waiting lorries and tractors to transport them to the traders’ shops.

In spite of the hectic smuggling going on, no official worth the salt cared a dime to take suitable action to check the illegal activity.

The traders repack the smuggled rice in white sacks to transport it to various parts of Maharashtra by at least 10 lorries a day. The traders smuggle the rice mostly in passenger trains and Bhagyanagar Express. The railway police and revenue officials reportedly take no cognizance of the offence in spite of it being a daily affair.

A tribal leader Bhim Rao alleged that lakhs of rupees change hands to grease the palms of higher-ups.

Besides Wirur, the subsidised rice is being smuggled to Chandrapur, Kinwat and Nanded.

Though enforcement teams have been constituted to check the smuggling, raids are rarely conducted, the people allege.

The people said that it was high-time the State government took concrete action to put an end to the rice smuggling.

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