Technology to check pilferage in food dept
Bogged with the pilferage of the grain stock and bogus ration cards the Food and Civil Supplies Department has decided to take assistance of the modern technology and communication system to streamline the distribution of the edible items at the fair price shops, reports Rajesh Kumar Singh.Updated: Jul 02, 2010 18:59 IST
Bogged with the pilferage of the grain stock and bogus ration cards the Food and Civil Supplies Department has decided to take assistance of the modern technology and communication system to streamline the distribution of the edible items at the fair price shops.
Now Internet, SMS and Smart Cards will assist the Food and Civil Supplies Department in checking the pilferage of the grain stock supplied to the fair price shops for distribution among the ration cardholders.
Few years back large quantity of wheat and rice supplied by the government for distribution through the public distribution in Sitapur, Hardoi, Lakhimpur Kheri and Ballia districts were diverted by the black marketers to Bangladesh. Later the government ordered CBI probe into the racket.
Even as the investigation into the multi crore-grain diversion racket is continuing the Food and Civil Supplies Department officials fear that the pilferage of the grain might be continuing in other districts. The state government had already launched a statewide drive to weed out bogus above poverty line (APL) ration cards.
Talking to HT the Commissioner, Food and Civil Supplies, Rajiv Agarwal said the state government has decided to digitalized the ration cards. There are around 65.84 lakh BPL ration card holders, 40.95 lakh antyodaya and 3.25 crore above poverty line ration card holders in the state.
“To clean up the data of the ration cardholders the Food and Civil Supplies Department prepared the list of the actual number of members in a family. Each card will carry the name of the family members and the digital signature of the head of the family. The digitalizations of the 99 percent of the BPL and Antyodaya cards have been completed. In the next phase the digitalization of the APL cards would be done” Agarwal said.
The data of the ration card holders would be put on the Internet Agarwal said and added the new ration cards would be issued through computers. Since the people residing in the rural areas do not have Internet connection we have decided to distribute the hard copies of the ration cardholders in the villages.
Once the actual figure of the number of beneficiaries was available the fair price shop owners would not be able to draw extra grain from the godown or to black market it.
The Food and Civil Supplies Department had already launched the SMS service in two districts on pilot project basis about the delivery of the grain stock to the fair price shop owners. The service was launched in wto districts Jalaun and Bahraich, in August the department plans to launch the SMS service in all the districts. The consumers would know the date and quantity of the wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene allotted to the fair price shop in the village through SMS.
In place of the ration cards the Food and Civil Supplies Department had distributed smart cards to the ration cardholders in few wards of Sitapur. It would be in the lies of the Unique Identity Cards that central government is planning to give the citizens after the completion of the census. The complete information of the ration cardholders will be available in the smart cards.
In the next step the godowns located at the blocks and the fair price shops would be connected through computer. With the click of the mouse the an officer could get the data of the grain supplied and distributed by the fair price shops.