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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Delhi: Ration card quota full, waiting list to get enrolled is endless

Nearly 30,000 poor families are in queue to be enrolled under the National Food Security Act.

delhi Updated: Dec 27, 2016 15:04 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
People wait outside a ration shop in Bawana.
People wait outside a ration shop in Bawana.(HT File)

New Delhi

It was in early 2015 that Anwari Devi, a resident of Jagadamba Camp in Sheikh Sarai, tried to apply for a ration card. Officials at the circle office near her settlement sent her back asking her to first make Aadhar cards for herself, her four children and her mentally challenged husband. When she returned after seven months with all the necessary documents, Devi was told that issuance of new cards was put on hold.

Like Devi, nearly 30,000 poor families are in queue to be enrolled under the National Food Security Act, 2013 as Delhi’s quota of ration card holders has long been full. In fact, the city crossed its threshold of 72.8 lakh and now has a list of over 72.91 people, who are eligible to avail the benefits under the scheme.

“Our software gets locked at the threshold. The remaining 13,775 applicants have been verified and will be granted ration cards when invalid beneficiaries are deleted from the list,” said KR Meena, secretary-cum-commissioner of Food and Supplies (F&S) department.

People wait outside a ration shop in Bawana. (HT FILE PHOTO)

Govt says no more ration cards can be issued
Quota of members to be covered under FSA
Members covered so far
8,07,400 Priority category – Selected (PR-S) Same as PR, but the cardholder also get sugar at Rs13.50/kg
61,91,834 Priority category (PR) Each member listed on a ration card gets 5 kg of wheat and rice at Rs 2 and Rs 1/kg respectively
2,92,536 Antyodaya Anna Yojna (AAY) Each family, irrespective of the size, gets 35 kg of wheat and rice at Rs 2 and Rs 1/kg respectively
30,000: Pending applications Hundreds of homeless, disabled and transgenders still left out of the scheme
2,282: Fair Price Shops (FPS) in Delhi
736: Average number of ration cards handled by each FPS
March 31, 2017: Deadline for completion of linking FPS with biometric systems Govt says it will help remove bogus cardholders But, only 40 FPS have it

Apart from those on the waiting list, about 30,000 applications at the 70 circle offices are pending. Officials say there are a number of ration card holders, who are no longer eligible and the usual computerised methods of scrutinising bogus beneficiaries is not effective. The F&S department is planning to conduct a detailed survey from January to March but that too is “subject to availability of manpower” as it has only 184 officials on the field against a sanctioned staff of over 600.

“We have 19.5 lakh card holders in Delhi and the survey is not possible with just 30% of the sanctioned staff available. We have taken up the matter with the minister. Let’s see if we can borrow staff from other departments,” Meena said.

According to Amrita Johri, an activist working under the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan, NFSA in Delhi has been patchily implemented with the needy being excluded. “The homeless, the transgenders and the differently abled are the ones who do not have ration cards because they do not have Aadhar cards or ID proofs mandatory in Delhi, even after the Supreme Court ruled that Aadhar cards was not compulsory,” she said.

Johri said that the Delhi government can allocate funds for the scheme beyond the sanctioned quota financed by the Centre. “There is a lack of will on the part of government. AAP’s election manifesto promised providing dal and oil under the Public Distribution System in the city. More than 10 states provide pulses or oil under PDS. But, Delhi is yet to implement it,” she said.

First Published: Dec 27, 2016 07:59 IST

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