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Two more areas under cash project

delhi Updated: Feb 16, 2012 00:11 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

The Delhi government plans to extend the 'cash-for-grain' pilot projects to two more areas in the city to ascertain if the scheme, that replaces the conventional public distribution system (PDS), is feasible.

The first such pilot project -at Raghubir Nagar in west Delhi - ended in December. The result of the study is awaited.

After huge criticism by various NGOs working at the ground level over the sample size - a mere 100 families - this time around the government is planning to go ahead with a sample size of 500 families each in Sangam Vihar in south Delhi and Jehangirpuri in north Delhi.

In the Raghubir Nagar study, each family received a cash amount of Rs 1,000 per month instead of the entitlement of food grain available at subsidised rates.

"What we are basically looking at is does the cash transfer affecting nutritional security of that family?" said Dharam Pal, Delhi's food commissioner.

He maintained that this is strictly experimental and the pilot projects are a means to find out if at all an alternative can be found for the problematic distribution under the PDS.

The department of food and supplies has already tied up with NGOs and the two new pilots are about to start in about two months, Pal added.

Earlier in August 2011, agitators had started the Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan to vehemently protest 'cash in lieu of subsidised food grains'.

In September 2011, several NGOs had taken out Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan yatra (travel across the city) for about three weeks asserting the right for food grains at subsidised rates and demanding a universal National Food Security Act.