Stung by enquiry into alleged scam of purchasing substandard food items in 2015, the department of Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) Pulwama has failed to procure various nutritional items for Aganwadi centres of the district for current year.
Sources within the department said that after the case of supplying substandard food items including wheat products, Dalia and Suji was reported in different media, the ICDS Pulwama failed to procure fresh supplies for year 2016 – 17.
“The supplies were deliberately delayed in February because the authorities wished to procure supplies at ease after March,” the sources said.
A supplier wishing anonymity said that notice inviting tenders (NIT) were asked from various suppliers in 2016 and different agencies submitted tender documents in the office.
“We don’t know about their fate,” he said, adding that no fresh tenders have been issued for current financial year.
The delay in purchase has hit Aganwadi centres across the district. Imtiyaz Ahmad, a resident of Wahibugh village in Pulwama said that their children stopped receiving nutrition items at the Aganwadi centres for last five months.
“Every day we send them to the Aganwadi centres but they return with empty bellies,” Imtiyaz said.
When asked why procurement of nutritional items has been delayed, programme Officer, ICDS Pulwama, Ashiq Ahmad feigned ignorance.
“I don’t know anything about it, ask the government about the matter,” he said.
In October of 2015 government had constituted an enquiry into alleged irregularities and supplying substandard wheat products of Rajdhani brand to various Aganwadi centres.
Subsequently, the enquiry committee inspected Aganwadi centers and lifted samples from different Aganwadi centers. Around six centres were temporarily closed down after they were found serving children with items unfit for consumption.
However, the enquiry couldn’t probe allegations as the supplies were already consumed.