Ferozepur June 27:
Punjab's procurement agency PUNSUP has come under scanner after 3,000 bags of grain were found to contain only 20% wheat and 80% mud.
The bags were stocked at the mill rented by PUNSUP owing to lack of storage space. PUNSUP had purchased the grains on behalf of Food Corporation of India (FCI). Since FCI did not lift the stock for a long time, the grains remained at the godown, said sources. The grains were meant for the central pool. The matter came to light following a raid by the district administration.
Authorities got a wind of the scam when they were alerted by labourers loading the bags of grain on a truck at Shiva Rice Mills in Ferozepur to be transported to the local railway station. The bags seemed light. That aroused the suspicion of the labourers. They immediately informed the police. Police searched the truck and found sacks filled with mud instead of wheat. The matter was reported to Ferozepur DC Kamal Kishore Yadav.
He ordered unloading of the entire consignment of around 11,500 bags from the train. According to sources, Yadav inspected some grain bags. He found around 3,000 bags containing 80% mud and only 20% wheat. According to sources, PUNSUP's involvement is suspected in the scam. Yadav ordered an inquiry by a team comprising deputy director of food and supplies department, district food and supply controller and the tehsildar.
PUNSUP on its part is contemplating lodging a complaint against Surinder Singh of Shiva Rice mill, said sources. Singh is learnt to have told officials he was overburdened with work. He claimed the mill owner or his labourers could have filled the grain bags with mud.