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Remove IAS officers as controllers at FCI for betterment of food grain storage
During the last three years from 2009-2012, around 16,386 tons of food grain lying in the custody of Food Corporation India has gone waste due to the poor or non-availability of storage facilities. Such losses are leading to an increase in the number of undernourished people in the country.

LATEST IS the case of Jaipur in Rajasthan, where around 2,500 metric ton of wheat is lying in railway godown due to the scarcity of storage space at FCI's godown. The 55,000 sacks of wheat that have been purchased from Punjab has also started smelling bad as reported by NDTV. The FCI officials after visiting the railway godown has said that they will separate the rotten grains from the good one.

This is not the first case of grains getting wasted due to lack of proper storage. There were many instances across the country where grains, especially wheat and rice, have been spoilt - leaving thousands of people with an empty stomach. A latest report published by the State of Food Insecurity in the World’ 2012 says that India has the largest number undernourished people with 217 million as of 2012.

Food policy analyst Devinder Sharma has blamed government's policy to deploy IAS officers at top level in FCI as the foremost reason behind such grave losses. Sharma said that instead of IAS officers, technical people who have the knowledge of managing food grain should be given control of FCI.

“For the last 25 years, IAS officers are manning FCI, Nafed. These IAS officers are the one who are having power to implement the policies towards curbing food grain loss. But the situation hasn't changed. There is a need of giving the control of FCI in the hands of technical experts. IAS officers should not be given control of FCI,” Devinder Sharma told this citizen journalist .

India is aiming to ensure food availability to its every citizen through its ambitious Food Security Bill, which is likely to be passed in the winter session of the Parliament. However, the success of the government's plan entirely depends upon the steps government will take to check wastage of the food grains.

Devinder Sharma also said that the governments were never serious towards building food grain storage capacity as food grain wastage gives the an opportunity to import grains from abroad.

“In 1979, government has planned to build 50 food grain storage facilities (each with a storing capacity of 10 lakh ton) across the country at different places under a program called 'Save Grain' campaign. Today is 2012, where are those facilities. Forget the storage centers in Punjab. What about Orissa, Bihar and other parts of the country? Governments never gave priority to save food grains. They allow grains to rot as it gives them opportunity to import food grains (from abroad),” added Sharma.

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