Of the total 46,397 metric tonnes of pulses seized during raids carried across the state, the amount of tur dal does not exceed 13,000 metric tonnes (MT). The remaining 32,397 MT of the seized stock included kabuli chana, chawli dal, green peas, moong, imported val, rajma, chana and masoor.
Drawing a long list of the products stocked in the cold storages, nearly 70 wholesale traders from Navi Mumbai, Vashi, Ambednath and Kalyan-Domdivali have said officials conducting random raids are not distinguishing between tur dal and other cereals and foodgrains stocked in their storage.
They have sought intervention of the Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies to stop the “harassment” meted out to them by food inspectors who have sealed their godowns.
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The traders’ representatives who have taken up the issue with state BJP leaders argued that enforcement of stock limit was only for tur dal but they were being penalised for excess quantity of other cereals and pulses too.
According to one wholesale trader, of the total 4,937 MT of pulses seized from his godown, there was no tur dal. The storage of five wholesale dealers included 133.82 MT of imported yellow peas, 4000 MT of imported green peas, 73 MT of imported brown eye beans, and 715 MT of red lentis.
Sources in the food and civil supplies department, however, said the primary objective of the raids was to discourage massive hoarding of any variety of pulses, though focus was on tur dal. “It was a mandate from the Centre and the state. Those carrying out raids are expected to see things on the spot and take action against any violation,” said an official.
The state government has, meanwhile, decided to auction the 13,000 MT of seized tur dal.
The sources said Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Girish Bapat would look into the matter if there was any violation on part of the department.
They, however, added that the government could not allow any hoarding of pulses considering the steep hike in prices.
Traders are also being questioned why they have not been able to bring the prices of tur dal to around Rs 125 to Rs 130 per kg as promised last month. Despite huge stock of imported pulses in the market, there are no signs of the prices coming down.
“In districts where collectors have taken stern action, the prices of tur dal are steady at Rs 105 to Rs 120 per kg,” said a senior officer.