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Odishatv Bureau

Hundreds of kilos of rice worth lakhs of rupees was found to be embezzled under the mid-day meal scheme at various schools under Jeypore block in Koraput district, a report said on Tuesday.

OTV reporter reached several schools to verify the truth 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 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 foodgrains when compared to standardized weight of the bags. When questioned on why they did not weigh the foodgrains before accepting it, they claimed that they trusted the agents.

This has been going on for months now, reports said. This was reported from Parabeda Primary School in Jeypore town, Dimala Upper Primary School and Dangarchinchi Ashram School. There are many other schools facing the same problem, but it is yet to be reported.

Interestingly, there has been no complaint in this connection till now.

“We should have weighed the bags before receiving them. But, since we are getting the rice bags from the same agents, we trust them and did not weight the rice bags,” said Sibaram Panigrahy, the in-charge of Dimala Upper Primary School.

Similarly, headmistress of  Sanghamitra Bhokta said, “Initially, we used to weigh the rice bags. There was no much difference in the weights. Sometimes, there is 1-2 kilo difference. We haven’t given any complaint. If needed, we will give a complaint.”

The scheme initiated to increase enrollment in schools and to prevent incidents of drop outs, besides improving the nutritional and health status of students, has also failed to meet its avowed objectives, angry locals complained.

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