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Rashmi Ranjan

The Odisha Assembly on Wednesday witnessed noisy scenes with Opposition BJP and Congress raising massive irregularities in mid-day meal scheme at various schools in the State.

It is worthwhile to mention here that OTV has aired a detailed report on how hundreds of kilos of rice worth lakhs of rupees were found to be embezzled at various schools under Jeypore block in Koraput district Tuesday.

Raising the matter in the House, Opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi and senior Congress leader and Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati urged the concerned minister to take necessary action against the officials involved in the scam.

"The contractors are involved in such scams for years. The report aired on OTV says every rice bag contains 2-3 kg less rice. I urge concerned minister to look into the matter and take necessary action," Bahinipati said.

Notably, OTV reporter reached several schools in Jeypore to verify the truth about the scam and found that agents appointed by Collectors delivered less quantity of rice to schools than they are supposed to. To make things worse, the school authorities also accepted the rice bags containing less quantity of rice, without weighing it.

Ideally, one gunny bag of rice should weigh 50kg. But, the rice bags weigh only 47-48kg by the time they reach the schools. This clearly shows that a huge quantity of rice is being bungled, with no action by the administration.

Headmasters of two schools also admitted that they had received less quantity of food grains when compared to standardised weight of the bags. When questioned on why they did not weigh the foodgrains before accepting it, they claimed that they trusted the agents.

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