“A resident who is residing in Italy with his family has been delivered ration in Chandigarh under the government scheme. This is the state of affairs and you can understand where all ration is going,” stated Satish Kainth, a member of State Food Commission and a councillor.
Kainth said that the resident whose address mentioned in the records is house number 51 at Palsora village is at present in Italy with his family and free ration has been delivered in his name.
The Administration is distributing ration to 63,000 families through a private agency. Ration is being distributed for five months in one go. A tender was floated specially to hire an agency for the same.
“In fact, one of his relatives contacted and informed us that when they didn’t get their share, they found that ration has been delivered in the name of this resident who is in Italy with his family. You can understand what is going on,” Kainth said, adding that he has also submitted a complaint to the chairman, joint secretary and additional director of the department of food supplies and consumer affairs.
The Aadhaar number of the resident has also been specified in the complaint.
Various families from different areas like Ram Darbar, Palsora and other places stated that they haven’t received the ration and when they went to the department, they were told that it has been delivered.
Lalita, a resident of Ram Darbar, said that for the last two days she and her husband have been frequenting the office of the food supplies department complaining that they have not received the ration.
“When we went, they checked some details and said that the ration has been delivered in our name. But it has not reached us at all. This is unjust and unfair. We are poor people. Where will we go if we don’t get the ration? This was the only hope, especially now when we have been facing work issues due to COVID,” she said.
Another resident from Mauli Jagran, who didn’t wish to be quoted, told The Indian Express that when they contacted the private contractor as they didn’t receive the ration, they were told that the ration has been delivered but they have not received any.
Kainth said that they just enter the Aadhaar number in a mobile app stating that the ration has been delivered. He smells a big scam in the distribution of free ration.
“In Sector 56, Palsora, Ram Darbar, Colony no. 4 and Mauli Jagran, regular complaints are coming that when beneficiaries go for taking his/her ration then food supply inspector, private contractor concerned tell them that your ration has already been delivered. But the beneficiaries insist that they haven’t got their ration. There is corruption because there is no physical receiving or taking/giving over the items,” he said, adding that when the department was distributing ration, why didn’t they conduct door-to-door physical verification if those people were actually present at their house or deserve to get the free ration under the scheme.
According to the details, dry ration is being distributed to 63,000 ration card holders under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna. The ration has to be distributed for about five months.
When the tender for hiring agency was floated, it was specified that the work of the agency will include transportation, labour, loading-unloading, stacking, handling, packing, weighing 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, are being distributed in one go.
The decision to hire a private company for the task was criticised by city activists as they said that this was besides the food and supplies department having their own staffers and volunteers roped in by councillors.
Attempts were made to contact Additional Director, Food Supplies, Tejdeep Saini but he did not respond.
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