Delhi: Ration distribution for those without cards picks up
New Delhi The distribution of food grains for people without ration cards in the city stabilised on Friday with the arrival of fresh stocks at the distribution centres set up in Delhi government schools. The beneficiaries had to face problems initially with the distribution centres running out of stock as officials reported heavy crowd.
However, most of the beneficiaries got their free food grains on Friday at centres set up across the city. “I finally got ration today. It is a major relief in such times. Incomes have dropped badly and there is hardly any work to ensure stable wages,” said Kavita Devi, who did the rounds of two other schools in the last two days without any luck before receiving grains at a government school in Gautampuri on Friday.
On Tuesday, Delhi food and civil supplies minister Imran Hussain assured that there will be no shortage of stocks, adding that the government has placed orders with the Food Corporation of India. He said the start government will provide free food grains to all the estimated two million beneficiaries.
According to government officials, public schools in Jhilmil Colony, Hari Nagar, Begumpur and Janakpuri were among the centres which catered to all beneficiaries on Friday. “The system will be further streamlined in the coming days as more food grain is scheduled to arrive,” said a senior government official.
While the Delhi government had made provisions to allot food grains to 200,000 of the overall 2 million beneficiaries in the first phase, officials said more people turned up to collect the ration than expected.Officials said they have already placed orders for more ration to speed up distribution.
As per beneficiaries HT spoke to, centres set up at schools in Hauz Rani, Munirka, Shahpur Jat, RK Puram, Ber Sarai continued to send people back citing shortage of stock.
Also, a large number of people complained that the government had not amply advertised the drive, and they had a tough time finding the schools from which ration was being distributed.
“I had to run from pillar to post looking for the school from which the distribution was taking place. I started with the ration shop but there was nothing on the notice board. Finally, I got help from the SDM office who pointed me to a school in Begumpur from where I got the ration,” said Kusum Devi, a resident of Seemapuri.
The government said that people can call up the 1031 helpline, which was mainly set up for Covid-19 related queries, for help identifying the location of schools from which ration is being distributed.
Delhi has 7.2 million ration beneficiaries who got 100% subsidised ration in May and June under a relief measure announced by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on May 4 in the light of the lockdown. On May 18, Kejriwal extended the relief to people without ration cards too, pegging the number of beneficiaries at 2 million over and above those covered under the public distribution system. The scheme was implemented on June 5.