35000 quintals of sweet sugar turned “bitter”

It is said that taking faulty decisions and delayed decisions are often the main causes of various ills and problems. Proper planning, formulating schemes and ensuring impeccable implementation is what is desired from those who run the State Administration. It is hard to believe that while sugar is not available most of the time at public distribution centres in Jammu and Kashmir, it is rotting in bulk quantities at Government stores at various places in the State. The money in crores of Rupees expended for its procurement belonging to the people is getting squandered . While such is the outcome of the confused and unplanned decisionstaken by the Government last year, it is currently in a fix what to do about it and how to address it. Officials of the Food Supplies and Consumer affairs are seen to be completely undone both in respect of keeping the sugar purchased in bulk, duly stored and saving that portion which was exposed to rains and the major one stored in dilapidated store houses. Rodents and insects have made the stored sugar infected and have damaged the gunny bags resulting into losses worth lakhs of Rupees.
Who authorised purchasing sugar from agencies quite new and unfamiliar with the Food Supplies Department and what was the purpose?If the idea was to create a buffer stock for distribution and to meet future needs , what kept the authorities from supplying the sugar to distribution outlets? If that was not to be done, pure commercial wisdom dictates that it should have been disposed of , even the loss due to distress sale would have not been as much as due to losing of its quality due to faulty and prolonged dumping and pilferage and wastages due to other reasons. Who would compensate for and make good the loss of as much as 8000 quintals of levy sugar in Srinagar stores and as much sugar in Jammu’s Chattha and Nagrota stores which is getting spoiled and getting rendered unfit for consumption due to abject neglect by the concerned officials? Since there is nothing of the sort of accountability in the concerned department as is evident from the fact that audit reports of this department right from the year 2002, till date, are unattended and not replied.
The other face of the picture is that the department stopped supplying sugar for distribution among the people numbering over 45 lakh while enhanced its rate to Rs.25 a kg while purchasing the same from sugar millers at Rs.38.60 per kg. The avoidable burden had to be faced by the State and prudence would demand that the entire cost of such loss should have been collected from the personal assets of those who were responsible for taking such half-baked and ill-advised decisions instead of from the public exchequer.
The other aspect of the whole problem is total silence from the top management of this important department on this lapse of official care and proper planning . What is reportedly being done now is resorting to “writing” to Administrative Department, concerned Commissioner etc and to keep files stuffed with paper work to pass on the buck from one authority to the other while the sugar is getting spoiled and damaged each day, causing losses. Easy and bailing out outlets and agencies are presently being found out to “lift” the stuff but for that too, files and papers and orders and noting and the like must be prepared and made at the convenience of the concerned departments. The lapses and the causes of the goofs in rows must be found out and suitable action taken.