Itanagar: Food crisis looms large in the remote Kurung Kumey district of Arunachal Pradesh following non-availability of essential commodities under the public distribution system (PDS) since the last couple of months.
Most parts of the district, including Damin, Sarli and Parsi-Parlo circles, had witnessed rat menace during the early part of 2010, affecting the stock of food grains in the Food Corporation of India's (FCI) base depots in the state.
"The people of the district who depend upon the supply through the PDS and their agony has multiplied with no rice available in the open market as an impact of the rat menace," deputy commissioner Bidol Tayeng said on Friday.
With no stock at the Ziro base depot since December, the people of feeder districts of Kurung Kumey and Lower Subansiri have been deprived of their monthly rice quotas.
"While Lower Subansiri requires about 4,800 quintals of rice monthly under the PDS, Kurung Kumey requires more than 4,500 quintals, including under various subsidised schemes," Tayeng added.
According to the DC, Kurung Kumey could not lift 2,780 quintals under above poverty level (APL), 536 quintals under below poverty level (BPL) and 1,224 quintals under Antoyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), its quota for December 2010, due to
unavailability of stocks at the FCI base depot at Ziro.
Though the Centre attaches top priority to ensuring supply of rice to the targeted groups through the PDS, Arunachal completely depends on the FCI for stocking the food grains in its depots inside the state.
Realising that the bungling in PDS was the root cause behind siphoning of rice, Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu had moved the Centre demanding the FCI to set up base depot one in each 16 districts to prevent black-marketing.
Things improved initially with the FCI making base depots functional at Tawang, Seppa, Ziro, Daporijo, Anini, Tezu and Deomali while taking steps for the depot at Aalo and Roing to function.
The FCI godowns have been functioning at Kharsang, Pasighat, Karsingsa and Bhalukpong for over a decade.
Wondering where all the excessive food grains have gone, NGOs in the state have raised strong voice against the "apathetic" attitude of the FCI.
"The FCI authority must tell the people on what ground they discontinued food grains lifting and not maintaining the store properly as there was no instance of any natural calamity in this winter," the All Lower Subansiri District
Fair Price Shop Dealers Welfare Association (ALSFPSDWA) said.