Govt to install cameras in ration depots to check pilferage
By Mudassir Kuloo
Srinagar, May 13: Struggling to stop the pilferage in rations supply, the government is considering installation of CCTV cameras in the depots and godowns across Kashmir Valley.
An official of the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS & CA) said they often receive complaints about the pilferage.
“The stone keepers at many places have been indulging in black-marketing, and government has so far failed to do much to stop the malpractice,” the official said.
Over the years, several scams have surfaced in the department, causing hefty losses to the state exchequer.
In 2013, for example, thousands of quintals of sugar went missing from the stores.
Over 3,500 quintals had gone missing alone from the Gulab Bagh godown here.
According to the official, it was later found out that the sugar had been sold in the black market.
“Some of the officials were then suspended, but no recovery was made from them,” he said.
In November 2013, about 10,000 quintals of rice went missing from Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Another scam had come to fore in 2014 when around 3000 quintals of rice went missing from a granary in Budgam district.
During 2014, the vigilance organization indicted one of the former directors of CAPD department for misappropriation of huge quantity of flour. Sources said the scam came to the fore when vigilance sleuths conducted raids at the ration depots of CAPD and found a huge quantity of rice missing.
During the September 2014 floods, over 10,000 quintals of rice went missing, but the state government is still clueless about it.
The official said authorities have also failed to make recovery of misappropriated ration despite some of the government officials been indicted for misappropriating government rice, sugar, and flour.
According to sources, vigilance department had raided CAPD office Shaheed-Gunj several times in the past and seized documents regarding distribution of sugar to ration depots but there was no head way in probes.
According to a report of the State Vigilance Commission, DFCSCA is one among the “most corrupt” departments.
Minister for DFCSCA, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, said that the government has been making efforts to stop ration pilferage.
“We are considering installing of CCTV cameras in every godown and depot to stop ration pilferage,” Mir said. “There are also few other measures by which the ration pilferage and black-marketing would be stopped.”