The department of food and supply is in a fix over mysteriously missing of as many as 5,000 blue cards of Atta-Dal beneficiaries, who have been waiting for their cards and supply of wheat and pulses.
As per sources, out of the total 91,000 new blue card holders in the district, nearly 86,000 cards have been distributed among beneficiaries, but the department is silent over whereabouts of the remaining 5,000 cards.
Sources said the department has fixed the responsibility of distributing the cards on food inspectors, but local BJP-SAD leaders took the cards for distribution among beneficiaries themselves for petty political gain.
They further told that the department had received reports of the cards being torn by them.
An HT team visited a few wards to meet new beneficiaries, whose names had been uploaded on the department’s website, however, found that they were yet to receive their cards.
In the Jalandhar municipal limit, there are 20,171 beneficiaries alone, while there are only 65 food inspectors in the district, who are expected to cover more than 900 villages for the distribution of card, which is making food grain allocation difficult.
Raj Kumar, a resident of Dilbag Nagar in Ward 45, whose name has been uploaded on the department’s website, said: “I met depot holder many times, but he asked me to contact ward councillor for the card,”
Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Manjeet Nagar in Ward 44, which is being represented by a Congress councillor, said he tired to meet depot holder for the card, but he did not pay any heed to his query.
Manoj Arora, Congress leader and husband of Aruna Arora, who is a ward councilor, said 60 blue cards for Abadpura locality residents had been missing, and he met deputy commissioner, district food and supply controller, but to no avail.
Arora said, “I will file a complaint with the deputy commissioner on Friday to order an inquiry into the matter.”
Last week, Congress leaders had held a protest alleging the SAD-BJP government of bias in distribution of blue cards to below poverty line (BPL) families outside the district administrative complex.
District food and supply controller Baljinder Singh Dhillon said, “The department will prepare new blue cards for those who have yet not received their cards. They can contact my office.”
Dhillon claimed that the department would also distribute ration quota after issuing cards to them.
Under the Atta-Dal scheme, the government will provide wheat at Rs 1 per kg and pulses at Rs 20 per kg to about 30 lakh blue card holders in the state. Families with an annual income of less than Rs 60,000 and those owning less than 2.5 acre and 100 yard plot (in urban areas) are eligible to avail the scheme.
Pensioners receiving less than Rs 60,000 per annum are also eligible for the blue cards. The beneficiaries will have to submit a self-attested statement that they are not paying any tax to the government.