The alleged fake procurement of paddy under District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) that was reported in these columns on May 24, has turned out to be true in an official inquiry.
The documents created by Indira Kranthi Patham paddy procurement centre at Khudaavanpur village in the district showed 1,904 quintals of paddy as procured at ₹1,590 per quintal that was sent to a rice mill on April 12, 13 and 14. The same was acknowledged by the rice mill attached to the centre, and ₹30.27 lakh was also deposited in the accounts of farmers. But it was found that they did not belong to Khudaavanpur.
An official involved in the inquiry said, “Truck sheets were produced by the centre in-charge without procuring paddy. The farmers too, in whose accounts the sale proceeds were deposited, do not belong to the village.”
A separate inquiry ordered by the Commissioner of Civil Supplies and executed by three Task Force teams and district officials found the difference of 4,310 quintals in the physically available stock and that shown in the records.
Confirming the findings, District Civil Supplies Officer S. Uday Kumar said a total of 1,12,227 quintals of rice was seized, and the mill was booked for violations under The Essential Commodities Act-1955.
However, there were allegations about the involvement of a high-level officer in the scam in collusion with the rice miller. But when it was pointed out, action was taken only against the village book-keeper.
Earlier, DRDA Project Director R. Anjaiah had told to The Hindu that there was no irregularity in paddy procurement, which now stands in stark contract with the outcome ofi the departmental nquiry.