TN govt intensifies checking to prevent PDS rice smuggling to Kerala
The Civil Supplies Department's special CID wing is searching all the border areas as well as rural routes to prevent the smuggling of ration rice to Kerala
The Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies department has intensified checking at state's border with Kerala to prevent the smuggling of ration rice.
The Civil Supplies Department's special CID wing is searching all the border areas as well as rural routes to prevent the smuggling of ration rice to Kerala.
Sources told IANS that the CID have set up check posts at 13 border points between Kerala and Tamil Nadu to prevent the smuggling. This includes Walayar, Velanthavalam, Anaimalai, Anaikatti, Nadupuni, Valparai, Meenakshipuram, Gopalapuram and Muthukavundanur.
The Civil Supplies CID is also conducting surprise checks at the residences of people who were earlier arrested for smuggling ration rice to Kerala.
The department, according to officials, have already arrested more than 200 people and booked around 270 cases on smuggling of ration rice to Kerala. Three of those arrested are habitual offenders and are now charged under the Goonda Act and have been jailed.
The Kerala areas bordering Coimbatore, including Walayar, Velanthavalam and Meenakshipuram are vulnerable for rice smuggling due to lack of surveillance and the department has now put a cap into this and intensified patrolling to prevent smuggling.
Sources in Civil Supplies CID told IANS that around 150 vehicles involved in the smuggling of PDS rice were confiscated and around 150 tonnes of rice recovered.
Rice is supplied at cheap rates in Tamil Nadu ration shops for BPL card holders and this rice is bought at higher rates by the smugglers and transported to Kerala through unmanned routes in two-wheelers and then sold in Kerala at higher rates.
A senior officer of the Civil Supplies department of Tamil Nadu while speaking to IANS on anonymity said, “There is political support at the grassroots level for this smuggling which is a lucrative business. Putting an end to this is a herculean task and we have to recruit people at the grassroots level in both Kerala and Tamil Nadu borders to get proper information and then prevent this. The modus operandi changes according to the party in power in Tamil Nadu but this is happening unhindered since the past several years and a strong will is required to break this.”
Published: 10 Oct 2023, 10:27 AM