The Bathinda administration can work at frenetic pace when it wants to. Ahead of parliamentary polls, officials are busy at work, churning out nearly 6,000 cards a day to beneficiaries of the new atta-dal scheme of the state government. Sources said that officials of departments involved in the execution of the scheme have been returning home well after midnight most days.
The district administrative complex has been a hub of activity round the clock for more than 10 days now and this is expected to continue till February 28, the deadline by which 82,068 cards have to be prepared to benefit 3,22,915 residents.
"We have been hard at work. In addition to the impending and stiff deadline, members of the ministerial staff have been on three-day strike that will end only on Wednesday. We have been hard-pressed to manage staff to help us with the mammoth task," said an official on the condition of anonymity.
The exercise has been on in all offices of the food and supply department across all the five assembly segments.
Bathinda food and civil supplies controller Pravin Vij claimed that it was difficult to give an exact number on the number of cards provided so far, but work was on a war-footing and employees were working online as well as offline.
Deputy commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav said that the work on preparing these cards had started 10 days back and was on at all sub-divisions. He said the exercise for preparing the requisite number of cards would be completed by February 28. He added that even the work of distributing these cards was being done simultaneously.
Meanwhile, SAD MP and party candidate from Bathinda distributed some of these cards on Tuesday. At one of the functions, she alleged that Central government's policies had made food increasingly out of reach for the poor.