The Delhi government has distributed ration to 60% of the 71 lakh people who come under the Public Distribution System (PDS) so far, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Friday.
Kejriwal said the government has started accepting applications for special coupons, using which those not having valid ration cards will also be able to get 5 kg of wheat, rice and sugar, free of cost. “It will require a person to fill up a simple form. Around 40,000-50,000 people have already submitted. We are hoping to start the disbursal process for them by Wednesday or Thursday,” said Kejriwal.
Many without ration cards in the city have been suffering since the lockdown as they were not able to easily access staples due to loss of daily wages.
At R K Puram’s Sona Camp JJ cluster, migrant labourers from Rajasthan looked frantically for essential supplies. Sandeep Kotia (22), who lives at the cluster, said, “Even though we have been living here for years, only the older people have ration cards and they get the food. But most of us here have not got one made.” Another resident Vidyawati (60), who has a ration card, said, “I have nine people in my family but we get only wheat and rice as ration, no pulses.”
In a video conference with area MLAs, including those affiliated to BJP, Kejriwal said they should reach out to those without cards to help them register.
Meanwhile, several Fair Price Shop (FPS) owners said they had not received any information regarding distribution of ration to non-card holders. There are 2,028 Fair Price Shops across nine districts in the city. Officials said the mechanism was being worked out.
At one such shop in Timarpur, owner Vinod Kumar Gupta said, “Around 600 card holders have already taken their ration.” He said due to the lockdown, many non-ration card holders had been visiting the store, hoping for supplies: “They show their Aadhaar cards but we cannot give them anything.”
Among those who were turned away for not having a ration card was Rakesh Kumar (28), who runs an ice cream stall in Timarpur: “I tried asking for ration after showing my Aadhar card, but they aren’t giving it to non-card holders.”
While he usually manages to send Rs 6,000-7,000 to his wife and daughter back home in UP’s Mathura, the lockdown has robbed him of his income.
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