Despite having it’s own Food and Supplies department, besides several volunteers and NGOs, to carry out the work of ration distribution in the city, the UT Administration is hiring an agency to distribute rations to the identified needy families. A tender in this regard has been floated.
According to the details mentioned in the tender, dry ration will be distributed to 63,000 ration card holders under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna. However, the UT Administration did not mention the expected expenditure for the task in the tender document and only specified the earnest money deposit of Rs one lakh that has to be given by the firm. The ration has to be distributed for about five months, beginning from August 10.
The tender notice specified under the objects of contract that the work of the agency will include transportation, labour, loading unloading, stacking,handling,packing, weightment and distribution of the essential commodities.
The essential commodities for five months including 25 kg wheat per person for five months and five kg whole channa per family, will be distributed at one go. The tender is set to open tomorrow.
The decision to hire a private company for the task has met with criticism as besides the Food and Supplies department staffers, the ration distribution work for which the UT Administration will shell out lakhs from its funds, can be accomplished with the help of volunteers.
“We do not understand what is the need to hire an agency to do it. Even otherwise several NGOs were helping in distribution of cooked food on their own expense too. Don’t you think they can help in distributing this dry ration according to the conditions and the scope of work specified,” a volunteer with an NGO said on condition of anonymity. She added, “Why is it that they want to give away the work to private firms to do it. The government departments can also do it.”
Lakhs of people were provided cooked food packets by the Administration, with the help of councilors and volunteers, during the initial months of the pandemic.
Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla said, it is a sheer waste of funds. “When our help was sought for distributing cooked food earlier, why cannot we do it now. It is sheer wastage of funds. if not us,I know that the Administration had roped in about 100 volunteers in the respective wards, who were ready to carry out any kind of work and give their services in whatever manner at anytime. I do not think there is any requirement of spending lakhs on hiring a private firm to do what can be easily done without spending a penny,” Babla said.
Secretary Food and Supplies department Vinod P Kavle could not be reached for his comments.
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