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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Massive irregularities have been alleged in the supply of paddy under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme in Bolangir district.

The scheme is one of the flagship programmes of the Government of India and represents one of the world’s largest and unique programmes for early childhood care and development.

As per reports, paddy is alleged to have been stored in toxic environments like chemical fertilizer godowns before its supply to various parts of the district under the scheme.

“We have found hundreds of paddy sacks stocked at chemical fertilizer godowns at Jogimunda under Patnagarh Block. The toxic food item is being supplied to various parts of the district on a regular basis. We are afraid that the toxic food product will severely affect the health and growth of young children,” alleged a local resident.

Moreover, denizens of the district have also alleged that supply of paddy to various Anganwadi centers under the scheme are getting diverted and being sold to various rice mills.

“As per the practice, agents should lift the paddy stocks from RRC points and transport the food product directly to various Anganwadi centers across the district. However, the agents are diverting the supply to other places during transportation and taking away three to five kg paddy from each sack,” said another resident.

However, the authorities refuted all the allegations.

“After coming across the allegations, I visited various stores in the district where paddy has been stored, but didn’t find any irregularities,” claimed Lalit Kumar Sabar, Additional District Development Officer.

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