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Anomalies in distribution of food security cards alleged

SILCHAR, Nov 29: Across the district of Cachar, there exists widespread resentment among the people of rural areas in regard to the glaring anomalies in the distribution of food security cards, better to call family ration cards. Though the appended ‘world security’ with food does imply a sort of assured distribution of cards and ration among the target group of people, both in urban and rural areas, but the ground reality tells a different story. And this has been glaringly revealed during the visit of a consumers’ body in Krishnapur village under Bhairavnagar GP to check the workings of the authorities concerned in regard to the distribution of ration cards.
A majority of the residents of the area are being deprived of availing themselves of the benefits of the cards. Those who have been allotted cards are being kept in the dark regarding the process through which they can get their due amount of allocated rations. The fair price shop agents have taken old ration cards from their customers but have not distributed them with new cards. It has put the residents, who mostly belong to economically poorer sections of the society, in jeopardy as they do not know how they will receive their due rations in near future without the cards.
The National Food Security Act was passed with the objective to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity. According to the provisions of the Act, the administration has to provide coverage of up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidized food grains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), thus covering about two-thirds of the country’s total population. The eligible persons will be entitled to receive 5 Kg of food grains per person per month at subsidized prices of Rs. 3 per Kg for rice, Rs. 2 per Kg for wheat and Rs.1 per Kg for coarse grains.
The existing Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households, which constitute the poorest of the poor, will continue to receive 35 Kg of foodgrains per household per month. After the successful implementation of the Act, it is believed that the existing anomalies in the public distribution system (PDS) will cease to exist.
At present, food grains meant for BPL families and supplied to ration shops do not reach the targeted beneficiaries. In the district, thousands of people, who are to benefit from the provisions of the Act, have not been allocated family ration cards. In rural and urban areas of the district, 84.17 % and 60.35 % of the population are yet to be covered under the Act but no real work has been undertaken by the administration in this regard.
There is public outrage against the government machinery regarding the present status of implementation of the NFS Act. The aggrieved citizens have cautioned the state administration that if the anomalies are not corrected on a priority basis, they would be left with no other alternative but to organize massive public agitation against the system. (Source:SentinelAssam)

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