Lack of co-ordination between the food and civil supplies department and PUNSUP has meant that BPL (below poverty line) families are unlikely to get their supply of food grain under the atta-dal scheme for February. In January too, the families did not receive their quota under the scheme.
The department has said that PUNSUP, the agency entrusted with the job of lifting and distributing the food grain stock to the depots, did noit lift stocks on time, whereas PUNSUP officials say they are not given the allocation on time.
Sources said that that the allocation made for the month of January lapsed as the wheat stock could not be lifted on time. A similar situation has arisen in the current month.
Official record states that the food and civil supplies department made the allocation on February 20 and asked PUNSUP to lift the material the same day. Since most of PUNSUP's staff, including the district manager, were busy with other official work and transport was unavailable due to trade unions' strike, the stock could not be lifted.
Under the new directions, PUNSUP has to make entries of the atta-dal quota in their stock registers by the 20th of every month and distribute the grains to PDS centres by the 25th. Following vigilance raids on certain godowns of PUNSUP recently, which resulted in the arrest of three inspectors, one from the civil supplies department and two of PUNSUP, no one was ready to take any chances.
"It was not possible to collect and distribute the wheat the same day, so we have declined the allocation for this month," said PUNSUP district manager Inder Mohan Singh.
He said about 50% of the office staff had been deployed at Fatehgarh Sahib where a physical verification of shellers was going on and with the remaining workforce, it was not possible to carry out distribution.
"I have apprised the headquarter of our problem. They should provide adequate staff or relax norms," he said, adding that the civil supplies department should give sufficient time to the distributing agency to do its job.
District food and civil supplies controller (DFSC) Sona Thind, however, said that it was the responsibility of PUNSUP and get the work done.
"Staff crunch is no excuse. Work must go on," she said alleging that PUNSUP officials were "deliberately" not accepting material. She said she had brought the matter to the notice of higher authorities.