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Ghaziabad saves tonnes of grain, fuel with PDS revamp

Ration pilferage checked with removal of 95,000 ineligible ration card holders; distributors use biometric devices to disburse ration, save nearly 3 lakh kg of wheat, 2 lakh kg of rice and approximately 50,000 litres of kerosene per month

noida Updated: Oct 07, 2017 23:28 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
public distribution system,PDS,Ghaziabad
The district supplies officials have installed biometric machines at 516 of 723 ration shops in Ghaziabad.

Ghaziabad: The district administration is saving nearly 3 lakh kilograms of wheat, 2 lakh kilograms of rice and approximately 50,000 litres of kerosene per month, thanks to the three-month-long clean-up job of scrapping ration cards issued to ineligible citizens.

The drive started in May and ended in July. It was taken up on directions of the Yogi Adityanath-led state government which took charge in March this year.

During the drive, the district authorities in Ghaziabad scrapped nearly 95,000 ration cards which were issued to ineligible residents by the former state government. The ineligible ration card holders were identified and their cards scrapped after physical verification.

“There were nearly 3.99 lakh ration card holders in the district before we started the physical survey for scrapping the ineligible card holders. After we scrapped 95,359 ration cards following a physical survey from May to July, we have a total of 3,67,792 valid ration cards at present,” district supplies officer Sunil Kumar Singh said, adding that many eligible families who were not being able to reap the benefits of public distribution system (PDS) were also added.

“Effectively, nearly 30,000 card holders were scrapped as we added more eligible families after physical inspection,” he said.

Based on the number of ineligible ration cards scrapped, the department computed the monthly savings estimate for an assumed family of four members.

As per the norms, the annual family income of ration card holders should be below Rs 3 lakh; the house should be built on plot size smaller than 100 square metres, commercial space should be less than 80 square metres and the card holder should not be an income tax payee.

The family members of a ration card holder receive 3kg of wheat and 2kg of rice per month per member from the PDS. Further, 2 litres of kerosene is also issued on a single ration card for a family in a month.

The district supplies department has also issued new ration cards to beneficiaries, whose cards bore the picture of former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. The department has replaced such cards across the state.

The ration card cover with an image of former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav came under severe criticism as it was provided to beneficiaries just before the announcement of state assembly elections in 2016.

“In yet another initiative to save stock and make ration dealers accountable, we have provided biometric devices to nearly 516 out of 723 dealers in the district. The devices have their locations mapped and are also linked to the Aadhaar card of family members. The devices check stock pilferage and the entries of disbursal and receipt of stocks are automatically updated on government sites,” Singh said.

Sources said that due to the introduction of the biometric devices in the PDS, nearly 67 dealers surrendered their dealership to other eligible persons.

The biometric devices are linked to the government control room. The opening and closing time of stock distribution, daily processing and issue of stocks on rations cards, etc. automatically get updated in government system.

Nearly 10 lakh Aadhaar cards are still to be linked to biometric devices provided to PDS distributors.

Officials expect that the provision of the rest of biometric devices and linking of Aadhaar with devices will be fully complete by the end of December.

First Published: Oct 07, 2017 23:28 IST