IMPHAL, May 17: Clarifying that no interference was made in appointment of agents for Fair Price Shops, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (CAF & PD) Minister Karam Shyam said that Deputy Commissioners have been instructed to distribute PDS rice to the beneficiaries under National Food Security Act by loading rice from the godowns.
He was speaking to media persons while inspecting the godowns being constructed at Sawombung, Imphal East district and Bishnupur district under the funding of Food Corporation of India (FCI).
Karam Shyam who also holds the portfolio of Revenue and Weight & Measures said that appointment of agents for Fair Price Shops is done by the State Government and there is no problem in taking suggestions from the public representatives on the appointment.
He said that the stock of rice in the godowns has increased manifold as there has been no loading for long due to the dispute over appointment of agents.
As such, all the Deputy Commissioners concerned have been instructed to distribute the rice to the beneficiaries at the earliest, he added.
Expressing satisfaction over the construction of the godowns by contractors under PWD, the Minister said that the Union Ministry will be urged to hand over construction work of the remaining godowns to PWD.
Each of the godowns being constructed at Sawombung and Bishnupur district has a storage capacity of 2500 metric tonne of rice. Those contractors who finish the construction work of the godowns on time will be awarded but there should be no compromise in quality maintenance, he said.
He maintained that at present there are six under construction godowns and efforts are on to construct more nine godowns to store adequate PDS rice.
He informed that the godown at Sawombung is being constructed at an estimate cost of Rs 16.54 crore while the godown at Bishnupur district is being constructed at the cost of around Rs 9.67 crore.
Admitting that handing over of the contract work for construction of a godown each in Thoubal and Churachandpur district to Manipur Development Society (MDS) was regrettable, he alleged that MDS had withdrawn Rs 1.73 for construction of the godown at Thoubal and Rs 2.87 crore for construction of the godown at Churachandpur without doing proper work.
He declared that the contract work awarded to MDS will be cancelled and the same will be handed over to a competent work agency.
Work agency for construction of a godown in Chandel district is yet to be named as site for the godown has not yet been fixed, the Minister clarified.
Commissioner (CAF & PD) K Radhakumar, Director Ranjan Yumnam, Deputy General of FCI Ksh Thoiba and several other officials accompanied the Minister during the inspection visit.
Source: The Sangai Express