If the Bombay high court has its way, the poor across Maharashtra will soon start receiving food grains supplied through the public distribution system (PDS) at their doorstep.
Acting on a public interest litigation filed by Shramik Mukti Sanghatana, a non-government organisation (NGO) working for labourers in Thane district, the high court has sought to know from the state government if a scheme akin to the Gharpoch Dhany Yojana (food grains-at-doorstep scheme) — presently being implemented in Murbad Tehsil of Thane district — can be replicated in other parts of Maharashtra.
The petitioner has sought proper implementation of the Supreme Court’s directive to all states in May, ordering them to exhaust the existing quantity of food allotted them and to ensure that food grains are distributed immediately amongst the poor and needy.
A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Roshan Dalvi also directed the state government to file an affidavit indicating whether all food grains allotted to Maharashtra is lifted from various supply offices and is distributed to the needy population. The directive came after the judges found that the food grain supply under public distribution systems was irregular from an affidavit filed by the tehsildar at Murbad.
The court also sought to know the state’s stand on replicating measures introduced by the Murbad tehsildar to curb leakages in the PDS. The tehsildar has introduced a system of sending SMS alerts to all members of Murbad Taluka Vigilance Committee and concerned village-level vigilance committee as soon as fair price shop owners take their share of food grains from the Taluka supply office.