Vigil intensified to tackle smuggling of rice in TN

The Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation is in the process of increasing the staff strength of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) in the corporation.

The move follows widespread allegations of the involvement of staff in smuggling of rice and other Public Distribution System (PDS) material into other states.

The department has already suspended some staff who were involved in assisting rice smugglers. Interestingly, most of the CCTV cameras of the Civil supplies department have not been working for the past several months. The department is now calling a tender for the repair of 2869 CCTV cameras in the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation godowns.

The Tamil Nadu police have also decided to install CCTV cameras at border check posts to prevent rice smuggling which has become rampant in the state.

Sources in the state police told IANS that CCTV cameras will be installed in Coimbatore, Kanyakumari, Dharmapuri, Vellore, Ranipet, Tiruvallur, Tenkasi and Pollachi in Tamil Nadu which have check posts sharing borders with other neighbouring states.

According to a statement by the Civil Supplies Corporation of Tamil Nadu, between May 2021 and October 25, 2022, as many as 12,721 people were arrested for rice smuggling. A total of 2607 vehicles were seized and 128 people arrested under the Goonda Act for smuggling rice. Around 90,122 quintals of rice were seized at check posts while trying to smuggle to neigbhouring states.

A senior officer with the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation told IANS said, “The corporation is keen that the smuggling of rice from the corporation is plugged and we are repairing all the CCTV cameras installed in godowns and we will be employing more people to increase the strength of the Crime branch within the department to prevent rice smuggling.”




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