FCS&CA Deptt continues with mill supplying sub-standard flour

Sanjeev K. Sharma

JAMMU, July 31: The working Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) Department can be better judged from the fact that after repeated returns of sub-standard flour to a mill at Udhampur (supplying flour to government depots) for replacement by the one with good quality, the department is yet to replace with this supplier by the one ensuring supply of good quality products.
Sources informed that this mill supplies flour to four districts-Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban and Udhampur of Jammu province.
Reliable sources informed that the mill is supplying sub-standard flour to the government depots right from the day it got its tenders cleared for the same as earlier some mill in Jammu used to supply the flour.
The very first expose in this regard was made from Bhadarwah area in
district Doda in September, 2016 where the then Tehsil Supply Officer (TSO) found 315 bags (weighing 157.50 quintals flour) out of 200 of sub-standard and returned the consignment for replacement by good quality flour.
Another surprise awaited here-the consignment was replaced just last month (June, 2018) nearly after the lapse of two years and that too after a hue and cry was raised from certain quarters.
As old habits die hard, in another consignment 200 bags of flour were again found of sub-standard and were again returned back to the mill last month by the TSO Bhadarwah for replacement.
When contacted Assistant Director FCS&CA Department, Udhampur, Gian Khajuria informed that whenever they get complaints about poor quality of flour being supplied by some mill to the government depots they ensure that it is replaced by the one with good quality.
On why to continue with such a supplier which repeatedly supplies poor quality products, he informed that these suppliers are okayed after a proper tendering process.
He further said that if some supplier repeatedly supplies poor quality flour then he can only update his director on this and it remains up the director to change the supplier or take some other action against him.
“We work like a supervisor with limited powers and can only ask the mills to improve the quality of their product,” he maintained adding that he had forward the complaints of sub-standard flour to the director.
“Only the director is empowered to cancel the tenders of such mills or take any other action in this regard,” he further said.
When contacted Director FCS&CA, Amit Kumar informed that he is new in the department as only a few days back he has been transferred here.
He further said that few days back he took an appraisal meeting of his department where the Assistant Director, Udhampur was supposed to update him on the issue which unfortunately he not did.
However, he said that he was going to Delhi and on return he will look into the matter and strict action will be taken against anyone found doing wrong or misusing his/her position.
It is pertinent to mention here that after consuming sub-standard flour or any other eatable many people fall ill for no fault of their.