The Food and Civil Supplies Department has ordered an inquiry into the alleged black marketing of fortified atta (wheat flour) meant for distribution through the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Ahmedabad.
PDS store managers in Danilimda,Juhapura,Piplag,Santoshnagar,Meghaninagar,Shah Alam,Gomtipur and Vasna-Sorainagar have reportedly sold off ration items,especially fortified flour meant for the poor,to eateries,hotels and grocery stores in the city.
F L Ghalchar,Deputy Controller,Food and Civil Supplies Department,said: We are looking into the matter and our inspection teams will visit these PDS stores. The team might do a surprise check and suspend such managers. In stores where locals are managing the distribution,supply will be stopped immediately.
According to BPL families living in these areas,PDS store managers have been piling up items like fortified flour,rice,kerosene and sugar to sell them off to private establishments at considerably high rates.
Several small eateries reportedly purchase flour and rice from PDS stores. The owner of one such eatery,run by Rajasthani migrants outside Fun Republic,said: We get (flour) bags of at least 10 to 20 kgs,which are available at the ration store in Juhapura. Some hotel owners have tie-up with PDS store managers to get these items regularly.
Babubhai,a resident of Piplag,said: We have not been getting ration at the local PDS store for the last four months. We go to Danilimbda and Shah Alam to get ration. We get some atta and kerosene after a lot of request.
Roadside eateries at S G Highway have reportedly been using fortified flour,supplied by the Food and Civil Supplies Department,for the last one year.
According to Central government regulations,BPL families are entitled to nine kg fortified atta,3.5 kg rice,one kg sugar,and five litres of kerosene per month,while APL (Above Poverty Line) families can get 3.5 kg rice and 8 to10 litres of kerosene.