Neelam Gorhe, Shiv Sena leader and deputy chairperson of the state Legislative Council, has sought state-wide implementation of the Pune Zilla Parishad’s scheme to provide temporary ‘ration cards’ to more than 80,000 undocumented people in the district.
BJP MLA Ranajagjitsinh Patil had made a similar demand earlier.
In her letter to state Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushriff, Gorhe said the scheme will be beneficial, especially in backward districts.
According to Gorhe, the scheme will provide succour to undocumented people, especially in districts like Yavatmal, Osmanabad, Wardha, Akola and Beed. “This scheme can help in these districts and I request you to implement it there first, and subsequently in whole of Maharashtra,” she said.
The scheme can be run parallel to the PDS (Public Distribution System) and cover areas which the system has failed to reach, Gorhe told The Indian Express. Migrant workers, even those with ration cards, face a problem when they migrate from one district to another, she pointed out.
“For example, a migrant labourer from Baramati would not be able to collect ration in Pimpri-Chinchwad when he is there for work,” she said. Also, in many case the PDS grains take time to reach remote villages.
While the scheme require assistance from corporate NGOs, which buy the grains from Food Corporation of India, Gorhe pointed out that remote districts will not have access to CSR funds to buy foodgrain. “A state-level committee, which will include people’s representatives, can be formed. Its members can map the state in terms of need and availability of funds…. funds from flush districts can be diverted to districts which need it,” she said.
Meanwhile, Nitin Pawar, leader of the Rickshaw Panchayat, has sought implementation of the scheme in urban areas of the city. On Thursday, Pawar met Pune Divisional Commissioner Dr Deepak Mhaiskar and raised this issue.
“We pointed out that in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, the number of migrant labourers would be much more than those in rural areas of the district. This scheme will surely help them,” he said.
Pawar said he has also sought setting up of a committee to look into the problems of migrant labourers.
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