In a fraud exposed at Haripura Basti, situated on the outskirts of the city, it has been found that duplicate insurance cards have been issued to the below poverty line (BPL) families under the national health insurance scheme, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY).
The cards given to BPL families last year were found bogus after government agencies visited the area to renew the cards on September 2.
The team found that most BPL families had fake cards, which were not even issued by the nodal agencies.
Additional deputy commissioner (development) was the nodal agency under the scheme which contacted panchyats and municipal councils to identify BPL families to make health insurance cards.
The district health department was a third-party agent under the scheme.
The said cards have been duplicated to the extent that they have stamp and signature of the signing authority just as the original.
The insurance scheme started by the Central government offers health facilities and services up to Rs 30,000 to the poor.
Feeling cheated, recipients of bogus health insurance cards have complained to deputy commissioner (DC) Kumar Rahul demanding action.
"We only came to know about it after the team of government officials informed us about the fraud. The doctors at government hospitals had refused to accept the insurance cards of many, but we did not take it seriously as we seldom used the card," said Balbir Singh, who has been issued a fake card.
Another victim, requesting anonymity, said the cards were made in August in 2011 at a local dharamshala owned by Jagdeep Singh Pinta.
"The announcement to get the cards made were made at the 'basti' gurdwara on behest of Iqbaljit Singh Poonia, the president of municipal council. Moreover, the owner of dharamsala had also arranged for refreshments at that time. Later, MC president distributed the cards amidst fanfare and other councillors were also called on the occasion," he alleged.
"As per government norms, cards were to be made free of cost, but we were asked to pay Rs 150 to Rs 300 for the card," said Balbir Singh.
Poonia, however, said he is not aware how people possessed fake cards. Denying any announcement being made on his behalf, he said he was not even present when the cards were made.
"I only helped make cards for 135 BPL families at local civil hospital. They were listed by district administration. The others might have got the cards made directly at the hospital by bribing the hospital authorities," he said.
When contacted DC Kumar Rahul said ADC (D) has been instructed to conduct an inquiry into the matter and has been asked to submit the report at the earliest.
"More details will be divulged after the outcome of the report. Strict action would be taken and guilty will not be spared."