As many 91,615 new beneficiaries of the revised atta dal scheme have not received wheat and pulses in the district even as the state government had announced to distribute to them wheat quota of six months from June to November and pulses for three months.
Similarly, about 85,000 beneficiaries of the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) have not received the concessional ration items under the public distribution system (PDS) for last two months.
Officials of the food and supply department blamed the central government for delaying the allocation of the state quota of ration.
The officials also accused state government of its poor planning while starting the scheme and lack of communication among higher officials in Chandigarh for non-delivery of foodgrains under the scheme.
Under the scheme, the government provides 1 kg wheat at Rs 1 and 1 kg pulses at Rs 20 to about 30 lakh blue card holders in the state. Families which have annual income of less than Rs 60,000 and own less than 2.5 acres of land and 100-yard plot holders in urban areas were eligible to get the blue cards to avail the benefits of the new scheme.
Pensioners receiving less than Rs 60,000 pension annually are also eligible for getting blue cards. The beneficiaries will have to submit a self-attested statement that they are not paying any tax to the government.
A senior official of the department said the government had claimed that to ensure transparency in the public distribution system, ration would be distributed by food inspectors at the consumers’ doorsteps.
There are only 65 food inspectors in Jalandhar district which has more than 900 villages which makes it will difficult for the department to ensure foodgrain allocation efficiently, the official further said.
He said each food inspector was managing more than 20 ration depots, which is one of highest number as compared to other districts where a food inspector manages 5-10 ration depots.
Earlier, more than 1,300 depot holders in the district were playing a major role in the public distribution system. Moreover, the food and supply department is facing shortage of staff.
The official said the food inspectors were yet to identify a common spot in their area from where they could distribute the foodgrains.
District food and supply officer Rakesh Singla said the delay was caused due to non-allocation of foodgrains by the central government. The ration, however, would be delivered to the beneficiaries within a week, he claimed.
Karunesh Sharma, deputy director, food supply, Jalandhar, said earlier the allocation was made by the government a day before the imposition of election code of conduct as a result of which it got lapsed.
He said new allocation had been made by the Centre and the food items would be distributed among the beneficiaries in two or three days.
Anup Sareen, district president, Depot Holders’ Association, said the government had failed to deliver its promise of giving foodgrains to people on time. He said the depot holders should be authorised to supply foodgrains to people in place of the inspectors.
Sareen claimed that the scheme will only increase the government’s expenditure and it should immediately revamp the old system of public distribution system through depot holders.