Govt cracks whip; raids pulses godown in Odisha capital

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 22:

Cracking the whip against illegal hoarding of pulses, the Odisha government’s Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare department this evening raided a pulses godown in Mancheswar area of the capital city.

A team of officials of the Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare department led by assistant collector of Khurda district Rabinarayan Barik is raiding the pulses godown of Manashya in Mancheswar area.

The raid was ordered the Khurda collector, officials in the raid party said. It is said to have been conducted on the basis of market intelligence reports of the department.

Officials are verifying documents and taking physical stock of pulses stored in the godown.

Large number of poly sacks packed with pulses was found stacked inside the godown, an equal quantity was found lying on the floor of the godown.

Officials in the raid party are checking to find out whether the stock exceeded 750 quintals of pulses which is the stipulated limit as per government standards.

The raid party had to wait for nearly 45 minutes outside the godown as nobody opened its gates which were locked from inside. Left with no option, the assistant collector was forced to break open the locks using a drilling machine.

However, the owner of the godown Anil Agarwal arrived at the spot after watching reports on television channels that his godown was being raided.

Agarwal said though he could not say the exact quantity of pulses stored in his godown without going through documents but emphasized that it was certainly much below the statutory limit of 750 quintals.

He claimed that he was a petty trader in the pulses market in Odisha and imported dal from Maharashtra and Karnataka using waybills issued by the state government for sale in the state. There was nothing illegal in his transactions, he added.

The action in the state was following directions from the Centre to act against hoarders of pulses, particularly arhar and urad dal, in the backdrop of the unprecedented rise in their prices. Wholesale traders across the country have attributed the increase to illegal hoarding.

The raid was continuing at the time of filing of this report.

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