Delhi: 4 lakh ‘inactive’ ration cards face cancellation
The cards will be nulled if beneficiaries do not collect subsidised grain for another month, say govt officialsdelhi Updated: Mar 10, 2018 00:02 IST
Four lakh ration cards face the risk of cancellation if the beneficiaries do not collect subsidised grain for another one month and fail to respond to notices that will be issued to them, the Delhi government has warned.
Data provided by the food and civil supplies department shows that for the past two months, at least four lakh ration card holders have not collected their ration.
The government will initiate the process to cancel cards of those who have not been collecting ration for three months at a stretch.
After cancelling the cards, the government plans to include other applicants who were put on a wait list over a year ago as Delhi’s quota of 72.78 lakh ration cards was over.
There are 2,254 fair-price shops in the city from where foodgrains are distributed to card holders at subsidised rates.
In January, of 19.41 lakh card holders, around 15.15 lakh households collected ration but 4.26 lakh card holders did not. Similarly in February, the number of total ration cards holders increased to 19.45 lakh, out of which 15.29 collected ration and 4.16 lakh households did not collect foodgrain.
“Around four lakh card holders have not been taking ration for the last two months after online delivery of ration (e-POS) was initiated. We will monitor this month too and then initiate the process of card cancellation from April. There are around 1.5 lakh applicants who are in the queue whom we will be able to accommodate ,” a senior officer of the Delhi government’s food and civil supplies department said on condition of anonymity.
The step will help the government to update its list of regular beneficiaries as it will soon launch a scheme where monthly ration will be delivered at the doorstep of the card holders.
The Delhi Cabinet has sent a proposal on this to lieutenant governor Anil Baijal for approval.
According to norms if any beneficiary does not turn up to collect ration for a stretch of three months then the process of card cancellation is initiated, the official said.
The department had cancelled around 60,000 ration cards in 2015-16.
The official said that in April, the card holders who have not been taking ration continuously for three months would be issued a notice. They would have to reply within 10 days failing which the ration card will be cancelled.
Officials say issues ranging from improper issuance of the card and migratory labour may be the reason behind such a situation.
“Many of these card holders might be migratory workers who have probably moved to other places. Some of the households might be those who were not eligible for ration cards but somehow got it. Now they fear they would get caught as the distribution system has been made online,” the officer said.
The Delhi government has last year started distribution of ration through electronic point of sale devices (e-POS). In this system, the card holder must have an Aadhaar card to avail of subsidised ration from its fair price shops.