Islamabad to be asked to replace rotten rice
Thursday, 31 January 2008

Staff Reporter

Bangladesh will urge Pakistan to replace the rotten rice received as post-cyclone aid at Chittagong port, said officials.

'The food department's officials detected the damaged rice in the consignment of food aid for Sidr victims received at Chittagong Port from Pakistan.

We will urge Pakistan to substitute the same with unblemished rice,' said Ayub Meah, secretary to the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management, while talking on Tuesday.

'But we will not force Pakistan to replace the rotten rice as it is not a commercial cargo,' said Meah, adding that measures would be taken to destroy the rotten rice in Chittagong Port.

'It is a normal practice to destroy damaged food items at the port,' he said.

He told reporters that the food department had earlier detected 10 tonnes of damaged rice supplied by India for Sidr victims. Food department officials said that a survey has begun to make a complete assessment of damaged rice in the consignment.

They added that so far 22 containers loaded with damaged rice have been found at the port's yards. The consignment included 71 containers loaded with 2,500 tonnes of rice received from Pakistan as aid for Sidr victims, they added.

The commercial councillor of the Pakistan embassy, Rubina Towfiq, on Tuesday morning visited Chittagong Port to see the rotten rice, said port and food officials.

Director (traffic) of the Chittagong Port Authority, Feroze Ahmed, told reporters that the containers loaded with rotten rice have been kept in a separate place inside the port's yards.

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