Vigilance panel formed to ensure fair distribution of subsidised food grains in Chandigarh
To ensure effective implementation of all schemes under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the Chandigarh administration constituted a vigilance committee, which will be headed by the UT adviser.
The administration has also notified a grievance redressal mechanism under the act through which, any aggrieved person can make complaints to a district grievance redressal officer (DGRO).
The NFSA aims to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people.
The act provides for coverage of up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidised food grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), thus covering about two-thirds of the population.
Chandigarh has 2.57 lakh below poverty line (BPL) families under direct bank transfer (DBT) scheme. UT does not have any network of PDS shops or godowns. But, during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, the administration distributed food grains under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to the eligible beneficiaries.
Grievance redressal mechanism
Complaints can be made against officers or agency which has been entrusted with the implementation of the schemes under NFSA. Complaints can be about identification of eligible households, issuing ration cards, distribution of food grains, issuance of licences to fair price shop dealers and their monitoring, or DBT scheme among others.
As per the notification issued by the administration, a complaint can be filed with the DGRO in writing or through email or dropped in the grievance drop box in DGRO office. All complaints will have to be acknowledged by a receipt in writing or through electronic means within one day of receipt of complaint. A unique grievance number will be allotted to the complainant.
If DGRO is satisfied about the veracity of the grievance, necessary order for the redressal will be issued within 30 days from the receipt of the complaint.
The DGRO to resolve complaints can direct officials to produce relevant official documents and direct persons to furnish such information as may be required.
While deciding a complaint, the DGRO can recommend action to be taken by the competent authority against the employee of the department concerned, if found responsible.
Disposal of complaints will be monitored by the secretary, department of food and supplies at least once a month.
Any complainant or the officer (or agency) against whom any order has been passed by the DGRO, who is not satisfied with the redressal of grievances, can file appeal against such order before the state food commission within 30 days.
What will vigilance committee do
As per the UT notification, the committee will regularly supervise the implementation of all schemes under NFSA. It will inform DGRO of violations, malpractices and misappropriation of funds being committed during the implementation of NFSA.