Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to set up a state-of-the-art laboratory to test the quality of rice and other food grains.
The government is also planning to install CCTVs at ration depots to keep a check on pilferage and distribution of food grains.
An official of the Directorate of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCSCA)said that there was no testing laboratory for checking the proper quality of food grains.
“We don’t have any scientific laboratory in which we can check or monitor the quality of rice that we purchase from the Food Corporation of India. There has to be a scientific laboratory to ensure the quality of rice is not compromised. Once the laboratory is established in Kashmir, there will be proper monitoring to check the quality of the ration,” the official said.
He said that the government is identifying the land for the laboratory.
As per the manual of the procedures, the FCSCA is also to conduct physical verification of all the stocks of central godowns, various sales, and storage centers.
Another senior official of FCSCA said that the setting of the laboratory was in the process. “The laboratories will be set up in Srinagar as well as in Jammu,” the official said.
He however said the department won’t allow any compromise with the rice quality till the laboratory is established.
Similarly, he said there was zero tolerance for ration pilferage. “There is complete transparency in the department now,” he said.
The official said that the department has installed CCTV cameras in godown and offices. “We are also considering installing CCTV cameras in every ration depot. We have taken few measures by which the ration pilferage and black-marketing have been stopped,” he added.
Director FCSCA Abdul Salam Mir said there is not even “a one percent compromise on the quality of rice”.
“We also take samples to check the quality of rice. Even if anyone has any complaint, he should directly approach my office for action,” Mir added.