All citizens of the state will have biometric ration cards in place, by March 2011.
Citizens will get their cards by becoming a part of the unique national identity (UID) survey system that is being conducted throughout Maharashtra.
After getting it, any family member carrying the card to the ration shop will have his counter data verified through an online system at the shop, thus eliminating issues of illegal and bogus ration cards and fraud in distribution of rationed food items.
The online data will also be connected to the tehsil giving him an idea of the stock available.
“The Centre has sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore for carrying out the data collection for the UID, similar to the data we need for the Rs 2.5 crore ration cards to be issued in the public distribution system,” said Anil Deshmukh, minister of food and civil supplies.
In this way, the state also saves some money, he added. A team of surveyors will visit each village, take photographs, collect information, take palm prints and even take images of the iris, which will be stored on the data card.
“But to get all this information, we require people to be home and it is difficult to find daily wage earners to do that. To overcome this problem, we will compensate the cardholders with Rs 100 per head and will give them an additional Rs 50 per person for getting their biometric hand prints,” said Deshmukh.
The state has received Rs 1 crore as an initial amount for the work, which will begin in November 2010.