Sixty-year-old Kuchobai has been making rounds of a ration shop for the past 22 days, but every time returning home empty-handed.
She is one of around 2.08 lakh ration card holders in Bhopal who have not got food grain this month. Reason: their thumb impressions are not accepted by machines at ration shops because of some software problem.
Of around 2.95 lakh ration card holders from below poverty line and underprivileged families, about 31% could purchase ration in November.
Machines at PDS (public distribution system) shops are linked to Samgra IDs and Aadhaar cards; thumb impressions and data feed should match while purchasing ration. Because of machine faults and server problem, people are not getting ration as the thumb impressions of family members are not matching with the data feed in the machines.
Bindu Markam, a visually impaired BPL card holder, goes to a nearby shop daily for ration, but there is no relaxation for special people and senior citizens.
Ramhe, a woman labourer, said, “Our whole family comes daily to match the thumb impression, but we are facing disappointment for 22 days. We are on the verge of starvation as we don’t have money to purchase ration from the market. For the past 12 days, we are not getting work as builders have no cash to pay after demonetisation.”
A PDS shop owner said, “Machines were installed a year ago and people never faced any trouble. Earlier, if the data feed in the system doesn’t match, we use an ‘other person’ option. But from this month, the option has been discontinued. The shop is filled with bags but we can’t distribute grain.”
Deepak Sahu, a PDS shop owner at Kamla Nagar, said, “The machines is giving trouble and I am frustrated. Only the government can help people. Despite being informed many times, officials are not taking steps to help them.”
Officials said measures were taken to curb corruption but some people were trying to create a controversy over un-linked Aadhaar cards.
Ration to be provided on production of Samgra ID and Aadhaar cards
Food, civil supplies and consumer protection principal secretary KC Gupta said, “I accept that there is a problem in machines admin server. We talked to people concerned to rectify it. But we are not going to change the system because this is the best way to curb corruption and end illegal hoarding. We are relaxing the rules for 10 days and provide rations on production of Samgra ID and Aadhaar cards.”