Rotten Wheat and Rice – BJP’s Petition to the Human Rights Commission

via Press Release published on April 26, 2010

Petition to the Human Rights Commission on Rotten Wheat and Rice. BJP leader Kirit Somaiya appeals to the Rights Body to intervene

The issue of rotten wheat has reached the Human Rights Commission today. BJP National Secretary Dr Kirit Somaiya & Dr Sudha Yadav filed a petition & appealed to the Commission to intervene.

In a 52 page document, the petitioners have also submitted samples of rotten wheat collected from various warehouses of the government. Petitioners have stated that till now more than 20 FCI/ Govt. godowns across Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and UP have been exposed for storing & mixing rotten wheat.

BJP leaders in the petition urged The Human Rights Commission to visit personally the open godowns & see the condition of stored wheat.

Advocates for the Petitioners are : Shri. Bhupender Yadav & Ms. Debaleena Kilikdar.

Dr Kirit Somaiya stated that, ‘it is a sad plight that on the one hand people are dying of hunger and on the other the Government is allowing wheat and rice to get rotten.’

The BJP observed that at some places the rotten wheat is being mixed with normal wheat and that is being distributed for human consumption.

It is feared that a large portion of the 72 lakh tonnes of wheat that is lying in the open ware house in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan are already rotten.

These incidents clearly portray that if poor people in India are starving and are forced to go to bed with hunger then the main reason behind this is not lack of production but the mismanagement and manipulation of the Government.  The government is to be squarely blamed.

Respondents to the petition include Govt of India, Food & Consumer Affairs, Public Distribution Dept, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Corporation of India (FCI).

The petitioners had visited various open warehouses where it was observed that more than 1/3 quantity of all the grains stored had got damaged already.

It was shocking to note that at various places the FCI has given out their own godowns to private parties. Wine bottles are stored in FCI godowns instead of wheat.

The Petitioners state that India has had bumper crop in successive years.  The Government purchased/procured huge quantity of wheat and rice from farmers. Presently, Food Corporation of India is having 183.88 lac tonnes of wheat in the Central Pool against the buffer stock norm of 82 lac tonnes. Godowns of the government are overflowing with rice and wheat. As on 1st March 2010 against a buffer stock requirement of 200 lakhs tonnes, godowns were having a stock of 453 lac tonnes of grains.

As per the information of International Food Policy Research Institute India ranks 65th in the world in battling hunger. 10.5 percent of India’s total food grain production goes wasted.
 
The Petitioners request/pray the Human Rights Commission:

   1. Respondents be directed to give correct account of the quantity of wheat and rice kept in open godowns by FCI and its agency.
   2. The Hon’ble Commission may appoint a committee including the Registrar, Petitioner and activist to visit and inspect every such open warehouse.
   3. Respondents be directed to immediately ban mixing of rotten wheat with normal quality of wheat and send it for distribution through PDS for poor people.
   4. Respondents be asked to obtain reports from laboratories about the quality, status, grade and shelf life of wheat and rice.

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