PDS scam in J & K, probe ordered

Jammu Dec. 7. A major scam in the Public Distribution System involving over Rs. 42 crores has come to light in Doda district, and the State Cabinet, which discussed it three days ago, has ordered a probe by the Vigilance department.

The alleged irregularities involving movement and loss of foodgrains have been detected in the Food, Supplies and Public Distribution department in the Wadwan block of Kishtwar tehsil — a region where people are entirely dependent on the public distribution system for their food needs.

Making the scam public, the Minister for Food, Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs, Taj Mohi-ud-Din said ``An inhuman act has been committed as money has been looted in the name of the poor.''

The Revenue, Food and Supplies officials and allied agencies not only kept the department in the dark, but also hoodwinked the election authorities, projecting the population of this far-flung area as three times more than the actual figure — 20,022. For the last six years of the NC rule, the department was facing a loss of Rs. seven crores a year, the Minister said. ``The trucks sent to Kishtwar never reached there.'' The family of a politician of the previous NC rule benefited by the fraud, he alleged.

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