The vigilance committees constituted by the UT administration for proper implementation and smooth functioning of the targeted public distribution system (TPDS) seem to exist only on paper.
The three committees at different levels - state, district and fair price shop - have done a little for what they were constituted for.
The state-level committee comprises top UT officials, including the adviser as chairman, home secretary, deputy commissioner, joint director of food and supplies and consumer affairs, member of Parliament (MP), mayor of the municipal corporation, president of the UT consumer association, director block development and panchayats.
While the six-member district-level committee includes the deputy commissioner, joint director of food and supplies and consumer affairs, all sub-divisional magistrates (SDM), director of food and supplies, consumer affairs officer and general secretary of the consumer association and senior deputy mayor of the municipal corporation.
The fair price shop (FPS) level committee constitutes officials of area concerned such as municipal councillor, station house officer (SHO), head teachers of government schools, food and supplies inspector and four members nominated by the fair price shop owners.
The state-level committee has been given the responsibility of reviewing overall functioning of the TPDS in the city and redressing problems being faced in the smooth functioning of the FPS on the receipt of reports from the district-level committee. The problems which require attention of the administration are to be forwarded to the authorities concerned.
As per the set objectives, the district-level committee has to address the problems at their level to maximum extent wherever it is not possible for the FPS level committee.
Similarly, FPS-level committee covers all FPSs engaged in the distribution of essential commodities to the below poverty line (BPL) and antyodaya card holders falling in their respective ward. The said committee is also required to report irregularities found in the system on monthly basics and it is the responsibility of the food and supplies inspector concerned of the area to ensure the inspection of all FPS by the said committee.
As per official record, there are 10,000 BPL card holders and 82,000 above poverty line (APL) card holders registered with more than 60 FPSs across the city.
The Consumer Federation of Ration Card Holders (CFRCH) has been demanding for inclusion of its members in all vigilance committees
CFRCH president Rajinder Kumar Gupta claimed that the home secretary in 2010 had passed orders for including members of the federation in the committee, but the order was not implemented. "All committees exist only on paper and nothing is being done for ensuring smooth functioning of the TPDS," Gupta alleged.
UT deputy commissioner Mohammed Shayin, who is also the director of food and supplies department, could not be contacted.