The Vigilance and Enforcement Directorate, Guntur regional office, has begun cracking the whip against Dal Mills in Palnadu region following complaints of illegal hoarding of essential commodities.

Several teams under instructions from Regional Officer, Vigilance, P.J. Vijayakar began raiding dal mills in Narsaraopet, Vinukonda and other towns. The raids which began on Friday were continuing.

According to official estimates, stocks valued at Rs.5 crore in the open market have been seized so far. They included stocks of red gram, bengal gram and other pulses illegally hoarded in the mills.

On the first day of the raids, the four teams headed by DSP, Vigilance, Balavenkateswara Rao raided four dal mills in Vinukonda and seized red gram stocks illegally hoarded and valued at Rs.4 crore.

The following day, the teams raided four mills in Narsaraopet and recovered stocks worth Rs.1 crore.

The series of raids and large scale seizure of stocks hoarded beyond permissible limits indicated a deep-rooted nexus between the millers and the civil supplies officials. Sources in the department said that pulses were being imported from Malaysia and routed to black market.

The raids were reportedly ordered following instructions from the Chief Minister's Office to crack the whip against illegal hoarders.

The prices of pulses have been rising sharply for the last few days. The price of red gram is now Rs.75-a-kg, while it was Rs.65 a few days back. The prices were steep last year too as they touched Rs.100.

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