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Villagers fume over irregular ration
- Protests in Imphal East and meeting in Shillong over poor PDS

Imphal, Sept. 20: The beneficiaries of the public distribution system in a village of Imphal East district today pro-tested against irregular distribution of rice and kerosene by Manipur’s food and civil supplies department.

They also threatened to intensify agitation if the authorities failed to streamline the system.

Nearly 300 PDS beneficiaries of Langdum today staged a sit-in at Langdum Soibung Keithel as the first phase of their agitation.

They alleged that they had never received their full quota of rice and kerosene for the past 10 years.

According to them, every household below the poverty line is entitled to receive 35kg rice and four litres kerosene a month. The poor and the aged of the non-BPL families are also entitled to get the same quantity of rice and kerosene.

“The beneficiaries are getting only 10kg of rice and one litre of kerosene each per month. In addition to this the rationing agents hiked the prices of the items,” the secretary of Langdum Women Welfare Association, Hidam Thaballei, said.

She said the local agent claimed that the militant groups had cut 10 per cent of the quota meant for the beneficiaries.

There are 1,600 beneficiaries in the village under the Keirao Assembly constituency.

“We took up the matter with our MLA and rural development minister Md Allauddin. Everytime we complained he assured us that he would look into the matter. But things never improved,” Thaballei said.

The villagers appealed to the militant groups not to cut their shares as the consignment of rice was meant for the poor.

“We will next lodge a complaint with the deputy commissioner of the district. If no positive response comes, we will seek information on the quantity provided for the village under the RTI Act,” Thaballei said.

The residents would intensify the agitation if any irregularity was detected, she said.

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