Over 11,700 tonnes of foodgrains worth Rs 6.86 crore (Rs 69 million) were found "damaged" in government godowns, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar [ Images ] informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The FCI (Food Corporation of India [ Images ]) has taken penal action against the officials responsible, he added. "Reports have been received about damage to wheat and rice stocks in FCI depots," Pawar said. The minister said that the damage was noticed by a team of officials, which was deputed recently to inspect the foodgrain storage situation at FCI depots across Hapur, Orai and Harduaganj in Uttar Pradesh [ Images ]. "The team observed damage to wheat stocks at these depots and dereliction of duty by FCI officials. Based on its report, FCI has taken penal action against the officials concerned," Pawar said, adding that corrective steps are being taken in this regard. According to data submitted by Pawar, the maximum damage of 7,066 tonnes of foodgrains was reported from Punjab [ Images ], followed by 1,846 tonnes from West Bengal [ Images ] and 1,457 tonnes from Gujarat. Of the foodgrains damaged, 9,141 tonnes was rice while 2,486 tonnes was wheat, while the rest of the 81 tonnes was paddy. In a separate query, Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs K V Thomas [ Images ] said that as of July 1, there were 11,708 tonnes of damaged/non-issuable foodgrains in FCI depots. Thomas, however, clarified that not everything in the 11,708 tonnes of damaged foodgrains was 'rotten'. "This quantity has become non-issuable because of different reasons, and all of it cannot be termed as rotten," he said while replying to the query on whether foodgrains are rotting in FCI godowns. Thomas further explained that some amount of foodgrains gets damaged during transportation, handling and storage operations. The quality of foodgrains also deteriorates due to spillage, storage over extended periods of time and exposure to rains, he added. FCI, the nodal agency for the procurement and distribution of foodgrains, had 57.8 million tonnes in its godowns at the start of this month. However, as per buffer norms, it should have had 31.9 million tonnes as on July 1.