Damage of sugar during transfer through rail revealed by a RTI Application
As per information disclosed in reply to an application filed under the RTI Act, six wagons had been drenched in rain while transfer from Manjara, Maharashtra to Mancheswar railway station in Odisha. This damage was noticed on July 27, when the sugar rakes arrived in Mancheswar railway station and it was found that at least 134.55 tons of sugar in 2691 bags was damaged by rain. The Odisha state civil supply corporation was transferring the stock by rail following allotment of 2688 tons of PDS sugar to Odisha from a mill in Manjara, Maharashtra.
The stock was inspected by a quality analyst, who examined the six wagons of sugar and reported that they had been drenched in rain and wasted. As the inspection report did not find the drenched sugar stock fit for issue to the PDS, it was suggested that the damaged stock could be disposed of through open auction. Meanwhile, a demand has been made from the railways claiming compensation against damage to PDS sugar.
The Odisha Civil Supplies Corporation had picked up the stock of sugar at Rs. 18 per Kg while the wet sugar was auctioned at Rs. 33 per Kg. Thus, the Odisha government has made a profit from the sale of such stock when compared to the amount it had spent for lifting the stock from the mill. Critics have pointed that the sugar price in the open market is more than Rs 44 per kg, and those who bought the sugar in the auction would also make a handsome profit. However, it is not known where such sugar would be sold if it is unfit for human consumption.