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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Villagers cry foul in blue-cards issuing

Gurpreet Singh Chhina, Hindustan Times  Fatehgarh Sahib , August 30, 2014
First Published: 00:11 IST(30/8/2014) | Last Updated: 00:13 IST(30/8/2014)

Residents across villages here alleged foul play in the list of names of those eligible for the blue card under the state's Atta-Dal scheme.
In their complaints, they accused that names of those who were eligible under the scheme had been left out while others had been nominated for the cards because of their close ties with local political leaders, even if they were not eligible.

Ranjit Singh, a panchayat member of Brass village, said that villagers with over five acres of land and owned tractors had been issued blue cards. He added that they were able to avail of the benefit because of their political links. However, the needy were made to run from pillar to post. He said they had approached the administration to look into the matter. But, authorities neither marked an inquiry nor assured them of help in getting the card, he said.
Similarly, Kuldeep Kaur, a panchayat member of Naulakha village, said they had handed over a memorandum to the deputy commissioner, requesting him to address the problem.

District food and supply controller Harjit Kaur also said that though residents had thronged the department with complaints, they could not add their names as the department had no role in the issuing of cards.
A senior official from the district administration, on condition of anonymity, said the survey to identify prospective beneficiaries was conducted through patwari and panchayat members and hence political influence could not be ruled out.

However, deputy commissioner Arun Sekhri said that applications were invited for the scheme and cards were issued according to the survey. So, fresh cards would be issued only when the government opened the scheme again.

When asked whether an inquiry had been marked to look into the villagers' allegations, the DC said they had not received any formal complaint to conduct an inquiry.

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