Patna,(BiharTimes): The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has recommended for realizing the cost of the foodgrains, meant for the people below poverty line (BPL) families, but eaten up by the rats from the State Food Corporation employees as they were held responsible for this huge loss to the government exchequer.
These food-grains were stored in various warehouses of State Food Corporation located in Darbhanga, Begusarai, Muzaffarpur and Nawada districts but their poor packaging allowed the rats to feast on them. The eaten or destroyed grains, which included rice and wheat were to be distributed among 12,000 BPL families.
The CAG report tabled in the Bihar Assembly recently said that foodgrains worth over Rs two billion were destroyed or rotten as the SFC authorities did not lift food from the godowns and distribute the same among the poor. It also said that rats have eaten around 3,000 quintals of food-grains stored in government’s warehouses in 2010-11.
According to sources, around half of state’s foodgrain stocks are eaten up by rodents every year.
The state government seems to have no idea how to tackle this challenge, except to promote rat meat in hotels and restaurants. This idea first came up in 2008. But it was reportedly opposed by the rat-eating Mahadalit caste, Mushars, whose very name suggest rat-eaters.
In 2011 once again while taking part in a workshop in A N Sinha Institute, the then Social Welfare Department Secretary, Vijay Prakash, suggested that rat meat has huge potential to be developed into a popular dish which, if extensively commercialized would tackle almost 50 per cent of the food crisis in the country.
The CAG has, however, described this loss of foodgrains due to the lackadaisical approach of the SFC employees as a very serious crime.