Fair Price Shops are proposed to be fully automated with ePOS (electronic point of sale) machines in Telangana, where plans are also afoot to install CCTVs in godowns, as the government looks to improve the public distribution system. The state’s Civil Supplies Department has floated a tender for selection of system integrator for implementing Aadhaar- enabled PDS in the state, which has a total of 17,200 FPS. Commissioner of Civil Supplies, C V Anand said the vendor, who would implement the project on a Build-Own-Operate mode, is expected to be finalised next month, and added that the automation is proposed to be completed in the state by February.
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As of now, FPS level transactions are being conducted manually in the state, except in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) area, department officials said.
“CCTVs are being planned in each of the 171 godowns (mandal-level stock points), and have them connected to Joint Collector’s and the Commissioner’s offices,” Anand told PTI, adding that a project report in this regard is being prepared.
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All civil supplies transport vehicles are being monitored through GPS at the head-office, he said.
The department also planned to send bulk SMS to FPS dealers and ration card holders on availability and movement of stocks. A WhatsApp number would be soon be made available to the public through which they can lodge complaints. This is in addition to other complaint channels, Anand said.
For example, a ration-card holder can send photos of closed FPS when it’s supposed to be open, he explained.
With online procurement and supply management systems already in place in Telangana, the decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes did not have any impact on farmers as money is being transferred to their accounts, Anand said.
“Telangana is one of the few states where 100 per cent Aadhaar seeding has been done for the ration cards. We are in a very good position to leverage the benefits of e-POS machines and Aadhaar-based transactions. There are a total of 2.75 crore PDS beneficiaries in the state,” he said.
Officials said the IT-based initiatives would ensure that PDS benefits are delivered only to intended beneficiaries, prevent diversion of essential commodities and improve transparency and accountability in operations.