Srinagar, Sep 18: The residents of KaniKadal on Saturday complained that the Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCSCA) department was distributing “plastic rice” among consumers at a ration store, putting lives at risk.
The aggrieved consumers returned two bags of this rice to the storekeeper stating that the bags contained “plastic rice”.
“I was taken by surprise after I saw 50 kilograms of plastic rice inside. I immediately returned the rice bags to the storekeeper with the complaint that the bags contained plastic rice,” a local resident said. The residents became anxious as the news about distribution of plastic rice became public. They demanded a thorough probe into it and action against the erring officers and supplier as well.
“How can one consume this kind of a product. The department should take a serious note of the issue as to why consumers are given this plastic rice,” an elderly resident said.
When contacted, Director FCSCA Department Kashmir, Abdul Salam Mir dispelled the allegation saying that the rice was “high in grade and enriched with high nutritional value”.
“ A few consumers had some confusion and returned the rice bags. The rice being called plastic rice is actually fortified rice and is enriched with higher food values than ordinary rice,” he said. Mir said the rice is mostly distributed for children suffering from malnutrition.
“We usually distribute it for school children who receive their meals in the schools under MDM scheme and also supply it to ICDS centres for malnutrition children,” he said.
Notably, amid the closure of schools, the school education department distributes dry ration among the school children which is supplied by the FCSCA department. The students from kindergarten to class 8th are getting the dry ration in place of cooked meals since the educational institutions are closed in the Valley following the outbreak of Covid-19 last year. Meanwhile, the director FCSCA urged the consumers not to "believe in rumors which creates unnecessary panic in public".