Hamirpur (HP): Twenty-four bags of Rice being supplied through fair-price shops were found abandoned in the Paplah forest of the district.
Along with sacks of rice, bags of cheap ration containing the photo of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee were also found at the spot Saturday evening.
This has created problems for the departments of Food and supplies and HP state civil supplies corporation, the agencies supplying rations to the fair price shops in the state.
In this way, the functioning of the Food Supply Department and the State Civil Supplies Corporation is in the dock by throwing government ration in the open in the forest.
When a local man saw the bags lying abandoned, he informed the local gram panchayat and its functionaries reached the spot and were taken aback by seeing the ration bags lying there.
Local residents Devendra Kumar, Shashi Pal, Roshan Lal and, Veena Devi said looking at the pile of gunny bags, it seemed that this rice is from a cheap ration shop. It also includes pulses and wheat.
Locals viewed that the ration of the poor was being thrown in the forests and the government was not taking pains to provide free ration to the poor people. They say that it has raised an alarm about the working of the ration-supplying agencies.
Surendra Kumar, former up-pradhan of Panchayat Papalah, said when he checked with the panchayat representatives, pulses and wheat grains were also found mixed in rice sacks. He demanded an inquiry into the matter from the Food Supply Department. He said that a complaint will be made to Bhoranj MLA Suresh Kumar regarding the matter. He has demanded strict action against the accused.
Meanwhile, taking quick cognizance of the news related to the throwing of sacks of rice in the forest of Gram Panchayat Paplah of development block Bhoranj, District food and Supplies Controller Arvind Sharma issued guidelines to the officials concerned on Saturday evening itself.
Sharma said Himachal Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation regional manager Sanjeev Verma, inspector Ranjit Singh, 2nd godown in-charge Sunil Kumar and complainant Surendra Kumar had reached the spot with some media persons on Saturday evening itself. During this, on checking and opening the sacks, garbage, some pesticides and grains of rice, wheat and pulses were found in them.
The District Controller said on the spot, after contacting the fair price shops of the surrounding areas, it was found that the waste from the cleaning of the fair price shop of Co-operative Sabha Hanoh was thrown in the forest of Papalah.
Pankaj Kumar, the seller of this shop, was immediately called on the spot. Pankaj Kumar said recently the fair price shop was renovated and its floor was tiled and for that, the shop was cleaned.
According to the District Controller, Pankaj Kumar admitted that grains of rice, wheat and pulses etc. fall down several times while distributing ration to the people. These grains were in the garbage that came out during the cleaning of the shop. These grains were lying in the shop for a long time and after cleaning, they were thrown in the forest along with the garbage.
According to Pankaj Kumar, this is also in the knowledge of the management committee of the cooperative society.
District Food and Supply Controller Arvind Sharma said the vendor should not have dumped these gunny bags in such an unprofessional manner.
He said a show cause notice was being issued to the cooperative society. Apart from this, the inspector of Bhoranj block has been instructed to check the stock of all fair-price shops in Bhoranj and submit the report within two days.