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    BJP moves Human Rights over imported wheat


    BJP moves Human Rights over imported wheat

    Mumbai: A lab report of Mumbai rationing controller clearly stated that the imported red wheat being distributed under the public distribution system in Maharashtra is not fit for human consumption.

    “The quality of imported wheat is so poor that the state government laboratory has declared that it is not for human consumption,” says BJP leader and RTI activist, Kirit Somaiya.

    During tests, 229 of the 265 samples collected from PDS outlets in Mumbai were found unfit for consumption. A Pune lab had similar findings.

    And the state government responded by issuing a directive to stop distribution of imported red wheat but to no avail.

    “We had approached Human Right Commission to action immediately,” says Somaiya.

    And that's not all, the entire import mechanism raises a lot of questions.

    Surprisingly, the plan to import wheat was announced on March19 while the procurement season was still on.

    CNN-IBN had first shown inferior quality of Australian red wheat being given to people in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh.

    The various gram panchayats are preparing affidavits as they plan to take the government to court through a PIL.

    “We have people telling us that the Australian wheat is used for cattle- feed there. Many people from many villages have held their own gram Sabhas regarding this. The villages have made affidavits saying that they have been getting the read wheat,” says activist, Spandan, Prakash.

    And now, with the BJP also planning to file a PIL in Bombay High Court, the Ministry of Agriculture will have to answer some uncomfortable questions.

    BJP moves Human Rights over imported wheat


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  2. #2
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    Re: BJP moves Human Rights over imported wheat


    If the state government's directive to stop issue is not obeyed there is no solution other than replacing the government who can at least ensure that their orders are obeyeed.

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    Re: BJP moves Human Rights over imported wheat


    it seems there is major lapses in communication.
    Despite govt directive, the distribution is still on.

  4. #4
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    Re: BJP moves Human Rights over imported wheat



    Quote Originally Posted by maneesh View Post
    it seems there is major lapses in communication.
    Despite govt directive, the distribution is still on.
    Maneesh, that is correct.
    Even today, some news channels were showing this wheat being distributed from PDS in MP and Chattisgarh.

  5. #5
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    Re: BJP moves Human Rights over imported wheat


    Rotten truth of imported wheat

    Yogesh Pawar

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007 (Malkapur, Vidharbha)


    The wheat import scandal is an issue that has raised hackles in Parliament and now in Maharashtra.

    Wheat was imported from Australia and the US at a time when the need to import the grain was itself questionable, never mind that the price offered was much higher than that offered to Indian farmers.

    People of the village of Malkapur in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region like villages all over India don't have a choice.

    Two innocuous-looking godowns owned by the Food Corporation of India in Malkapur hold the largest consignment of imported wheat in Maharashtra.

    The wheat is imported from Australia and much of it is meant for the Public Distribution System for the kitchens of the poor. But even the desperate and the hungry can barely stomach the wheat.

    ''We are being made to eat wheat which I think is not good for even our animals. We are worried. Eating the rotis made from this wheat flour makes us sick,'' said Sheikh Kabir Mehboob, resident.

    ''The children are the worst off as they keep getting sick. We are forced at times when we can afford it, to buy costly wheat and mix it with the flour. So that the roti is edible,'' he added.

    Low-grade wheat

    Almost all the wheat in Malkapur, 80 per cent of the 420 tonnes is imported and full of worms, evidence of the raging national storm over the government's decision to import wheat to buffer our stocks.

    What is making it worse that officials deny the charges of low-grade wheat even in the face of obvious evidence.

    ''We have 1,877 mt red wheat that is Australian wheat and 1,627 mt white wheat and so both the varieties are available in the godowns and we got a report from the district health lab in Amravati that the wheat is fit for human consumption,'' said Vasant Poreddivar, District Collector, Buldhana.

    There are now accusations of more sinister motives. Sources have told NDTV that ever since the first stocks of Australian wheat began to arrive here, the distribution of Indian wheat through the PDS stopped after supplies depleted.

    Simply put, this is what it boils down to.
    • Indian wheat available at Rs 14 per kg versus contaminated wheat sold at Rs 5 per kg
    ''We buy this wheat for Rs 5 a kg because we cannot afford to buy the costlier variety, which is Rs 15 a kg. But, the red wheat makes my children get dysentery and they are often sick,'' said Tukaram Sawant, Buldhana resident.

    But now with a rising scare of low-grade wheat, even the poor of Buldhana have turned away from the imported wheat.

    Protest spreads

    So many metric tonnes of wheat has been brought and put in godowns like in Malkapur. And since there are no takers, the longer it is kept in godowns, it will keep rotting.

    ''We now have 3,911 quintal red wheat in our stocks. Shopkeepers refuse to lift stocks of red wheat because of the poor demand for it,'' said S T Wankhede, FCI Godown Manager, Malkapur.

    ''Stock remains just like that and when it gets left like that for three months and more it starts rotting and gets infested with pests and fungus which causes moulding,'' he added.

    A similar story emerges four hundred kilometres away from Buldhana, people have protested in Mumbai, Thane and Raigad districts. Here also low-grade Australian wheat has surfaced in ration shops.

    Finally, 265 random samples of wheat were sent to the Public Health Laboratory by the rationing controller and 229 samples were declared unfit for human consumption.

    In city after city, the government is trying to pull out the low-grade wheat but already tonnes of substandard grain have found their way into godowns, PDS shops and the kitchens of the poor.

    The rot - the imported rot - has entered the system and weeding it out won't be easy.

    NDTV.com: Rotten truth of imported wheat



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