Dumping of tonnes of rice in Odisha sparks outrage

Sambalpur: Tonnes of rice stocked in a mill was dumped in an open field in Larpank area of Hirakud in Samabalpur district today sparking outrage. Sources said nearly 2700 quintals of rice kept inside Vaishnodevi Rice Industries was destroyed after it got soaked in rainwater a few days ago.

Owner of the rice mill, Deendayal Agarwal said following heavy rain in the city on July 21, around 2700 quintal of rice stocked for custom milling at the factory was damaged. A bulk of the damaged rice was kept lose, he added.

“When suddenly water gushed into the mill, we could not protect the lose stock. Besides, some packed stock also got soaked as nearly 8 feet water flooded the premises. We immediately informed the Collector and a rescue team along with our staff recovered the stock which was unaffected,” Agarwal said.

At present the exact amount of loss is yet to be ascertained and the miller said the insurance company and the Supply department officials have taken stock of the matter.

We will take necessary steps to destroy the wasted stock so that it would not affect anyone and also hope to recover compensation from the insurance company and return it to the government.

Meanwhile, the incident has sparked sharp criticism from all quarters. Questions are also being raised on the role of the Supply department and whether the incident was a fallout of negligence.

It is a matter of great disappointment to note that the rice produced through our painstaking efforts are now being dumped. This is not the first time that rain fury and flood has hit the city but rather it is shocking to note that why did the government give the stocks to the mill which did not have adequate basic infrastructural facilities. The incident needs a high level probe,” rued a local farmer.

District Civil Supply Officer Pitambar Acharya said that the corporation will not stand to lose anything but if the insurance company does not pay or is unable to  pay back the compensation, then the amount will be recovered from miller.