The Food Civil Supplies Department, which launched several drives against fake or bogus ration cards, has put the number of bogus or fake ration cards in the district at three lakh. While the city has more fake cards than in rural areas, the district food supplies department has readied a figure to be forwarded to the state government.
With the Bombay High Court pulling up the government for not complying with the orders on bogus ration cards and giving them a last warning to follow directives or face contempt, all districts are readying the figures to be placed before the government.
The court had earlier ordered they should stop supply of foodgrains and other commodities to people who possess bogus ration cards and ask the state to come out with a policy. This was to be done last year but the final figures were not out, so the districts have been asked to thorougly check and submit their reports so that the government can work out a policy for food and civil supplies department.
For rural areas, of the 7 lakh ration cards, 45,699 were found to be bogus and had no details of individuals, and no document was submitted.
After another drive by the department, there were 9,799 applications and the figure of bogus ration cards in rural areas stands at 35,751, officials said. For city areas, of the 9.86 lakh ration cards, 2.6 lakh were found bogus and were deleted, taking the tally to 7.25 lakh.
As the government did not file any compliance report, a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka last month pulled up the state government and gave another chance to comply with court orders or else warned of contempt action against the establishment. The bench was hearing a PIL on allegations of bogus ration cards.
On October 25 last year, another bench hearing a PIL by Jayprakash Unecha asked the state to stop supply of foodgrains to those who had bogus ration cards. The state was asked to come out with a policy.
The bench stated that once a ration card is found bogus, the government should stop supplying foodgrains and commodities and initiate steps to prosecute the guilty. District supply officer Jyoti Kadam said there was no case of foodgrains being supplied against bogus ration cards. “After the cards were weeded out, we regulated the same (supply),” said Kadam.