Hours after UT administrator VP Singh Badnore launched the scheme to provide dinner of six chapatis and a vegetable to the poor at just Rs 10, irregularities in the implementation of the scheme were reported on Monday late evening. The packets were distributed at five locations in the city between 6pm-9pm, but reports emerged that in Colony number 4, members of the local Red Cross branch fleeced the people who had gathered to buy the packets.
Instead of charging Rs 10 for the entire packet, the officials incharge of selling the packets sold only the chapattis for Rs 10. The name of Parveen Kumar has cropped up in the alleged overcharging racket that marred the first day of the scheme.
When questioned by some of those gathered on the spot, Kumar was evasive. A daily wager, Arun, claimed that he was charged Rs10, only for the chapatis.
Watch| Annapurna Akshyapatra Yojana: Dinner for Rs 10 in Chandigarh (Video Credit: Nikhil Sharma and Yusuf Omar)
When contacted, assistant labour commissioner Naveen Sharma, who is one of the officers in-charge of the project, said, “There are clear instructions to sell the entire packet (chapatis, pickle and vegetable) for Rs 10 each. If there has been cheating, we will conduct an inquiry and suspend the employee involved.”
PEOPLE LAP UP THE FOOD
As vans offering food for Rs 10 arrived at their five marked locations on Monday, a large number of people availed the service.
“This is a remarkable step from the administration. We can’t thank them more as now our children will not sleep hungry,” said Gurnam Singh, a rickshaw puller.
Training supervisor of Red Cross Society Sushil Kumar Taank, who served the food in Sector 26, said: “I am really happy to serve food to people. The feeling can’t be expressed in words.”
Shamsher Singh, one of the men waiting in the queue, said: “The best thing is that even though the food is available for merely Rs 10, its quality is good and it is adequate for one person. Otherwise, we do not even get one paratha for Rs 10 in the city.”
Pawan Kumar, a shopkeeper in Sector 26, said: “One spends Rs 40-50 or more than that even at the smallest.”