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Jharkhand government bid to check ration loot in Jharkhand

District administration takes steps after public hearing in West Singhbhum
Ration being distributed at a village in Tonto block of West Singhbhum district on Tuesday.
Ration being distributed at a village in Tonto block of West Singhbhum district on Tuesday.
Bhola Prasad

Animesh Bisoee   |   Jamshedpur   |   Published 22.06.22, 12:20 AM

Over a week after a public hearing at a block in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand unearthed large scale loot of rations meant for poor beneficiaries, the district administration sprang into action.

West Singhbhum deputy commissioner Ananya Mittal told The Telegraph that the delegation of the Khadya Suraksha Jan Adhikar Manch had met him on June 18 with the findings of the hearing.

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“After going through the findings shared by the Manch members and based on verification with the district supply officer (DSO) Amit Prakash (who incidentally was present at the public hearing at a village in Tonto block of the district on June 13). I have issued a set of directives to ensure that there are no malpractices in distribution of ration and asked for immediate compliance,” said Mittal.

“Apart from arranging for distribution of extra rations to the poor beneficiaries in the listed villages in Tonto (as alleged during the public hearing) I have asked the DSO to make a schedule so that similar public hearings are held at least every week in each of the blocks. The marketing officer has been directed to ensure random inspection of 15 public distribution shops (PDS) in a month and furnish reports to the DSO and the district administration, while the sub divisional officer and DSO will have to randomly inspect 10 PDS outlets in a month and furnish reports. We hope that such surprise inspection will deter PDS dealers from indulging in corrupt practices,” said Mittal.

The DSO has also been asked to submit within four days a report on what legal action has been initiated against the PDS dealers and officials found involved in the loot of the food grains, as detected in the public hearing.

BDO Tonto, who is also the marketing officer of the block, arranged for distribution of food grains in the affected villages on Tuesday.

The public hearing organised by Khadya Suraksha Jan Adhikar Manch — an outfit espousing cause of right to food — had found that almost half of the regular ration distributed from the PDS shops under National Food Security Act (NFSA) had been stolen by the dealers denying villagers of their enshrined rights as per NFSA for the last several months. As per NFSA, beneficiaries are entitled to 5kg of food grains per person and 5kg of food grains under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).

The two main problems raised by the villagers during the hearing were ration dealers not giving food grains even after taking their biometrics in the E-POS machines or giving rations much less than specified amount.

While the online report in the dashboard shows that the beneficiaries have been given a full quota of ration, no action has been taken despite several complaints to the officials.



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