As blue card holders wait for allocation of wheat and pulses for the past seven months in the district, Atta-Dal beneficiaries belonging to urban area have also been waiting for their blue cards from the food supply department.Though the department claims it has distributed the blue cards in the area covered under Jalandhar Municipal Corporation but their claims are far from the truth.
In a random survey conducted last week in many city areas like Grover Colony, Dilbag Nagar, Manjeet Nagar, Chotta Saipur and some parts of Basti Peer Daad, it was found that the new beneficiaries whose names were uploaded on the department's website had not received their cards yet.
In the municipal corporation limit, the department has 20,171 beneficiaries with itself out of total 91,000 new blue card holders in the district. There are only 65 food inspectors in the district which has more than 900 villages. This makes it difficult to ensure efficient food grain allocation.
Sources in the department said the work of distribution of cards was handed over to the food inspectors. They added that in rural areas, blue cards had been given to the beneficiaries by sarpanchs along with the inspectors.
Sources added that in urban areas, local leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had taken distribution work in their hands but they were not doing so as they wanted to give the cards only when ration reached the beneficiaries. They further said that food inspectors were forced to not carry out distribution work as BJP leaders wanted to gain political mileage for their senior leaders by distributing the cards in their own areas.
Requesting anonymity, few beneficiaries said they had contacted depot holders for availability of cards and were told the cards would reach municipal councillors first and then be distributed among the people.
When contacted, district food and supply controller Rakesh Singla said the cards had been distributed among the beneficiaries and added that some of them may not have collected their cards.
When told about the survey, he said he would seek a report from the staff on Tuesday on why blue card holders in these localities had not received their cards.
Under the Atta-Dal scheme, the government will provide 1 kg wheat at rs 1 and 1 kg pulses at rs 20 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 acres of land and 100 yard plot (in urban areas) are eligible to get the cards to avail the new scheme. Pensioners receiving less than rs 60,000 pension 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.
The district has 1.90 lakh blue card holders who are beneficiaries of the revised Atta-Dal scheme in the district and are waiting for allocation of wheat and pulses.