Around 8,000 complaints pertaining to the public distribution system, registered with respective rationing offices in the state, have been lying unattended for more than a month now.
To make matters worse, when the rationing controllers were informed about the apathy of the local rationing officer, they either chose to be indifferent or responded rudely, alleged office bearers of the Movement for Peace and Justice (MPJ), a socio-political organisation working for improving the public distribution system (PDS) in the state.
The organization launched 'food right for all', a two-month-long statewide campaign from May 15 to July15.
During the campaign, MPJ volunteers created awareness about rationing rights and ways to register a complaint, if their rights were being violated.
MPJ volunteers helped people file complaints related to rationing shop at their respective rationing offices. "Most of the complaints pertain to poor quality or non-availability of food grain, rationing shop not being open at scheduled time and so on. We are currently focussing only on ration shop related complaints, but if the concerned officials fail to take action, we will also complain about rationing officers," said Mohammad Siraj, president, MPJ, Maharashtra.
The organisation also requested state food minister Anil Deshmukh to meet them almost 10 days ago, but have not received any response. "We approached almost all authorities concerned to discuss the deteriorating PDS in the state, but none of them paid heed. We will pursue this matter or else file a public interest litigation," said Soheb Lokhandwala, media secretary, MPJ.
When contacted, Deshmukh said, "I was travelling when they approached me. They can meet me next week." Ashwini Joshi, controller of rationing, director of civil supplies, Mumbai-Thane rationing area, said, "MPJ visited my office with photocopies of 200 complaints. We cannot accept photocopies, but I requested them to submit the bunch so I could route them to their respective rationing office."