The Centre on Tuesday extended the lockdown to check the spread of the coronavirus, but over a crore ration card holders in Bihar are yet to get the relief announced by the state government when the lockdown was first announced.
The Nitish Kumar government had earlier announced a relief of Rs 1,000 each to the 1.47 crore ration card holders in the state, in addition to 5 kg free wheat or rice and 1 kg pulse.
Sudhanshu Kumar, the Nayanagar panchayat mukhiya of Samastipur, said beneficiaries under his panchayat have not yet received the money transfer. “I am flooded with queries from my people,” he said.
“What is meaning of interim relief if it has not reached us after three weeks of lockdown?” said Dinesh Rai, the mukhiya of the Kasimchak panchayat of Danapur.
Kanhai Rai, the husband of the mukhiya of the Hetenpur panchayat in Danapur, said: “It should have been distributed as flood relief measures without any delay. Several migrant workers, who have returned to their homes, have only added to financial constraints of their families.”
When contacted, Bihar Disaster Management principal secretary Pratyaya Amrit said: “We have ordered release for funds to 86 lakh ban accounts so far. The amount should reach beneficiaries soon. We have been transferring Rs 1,000 to bank accounts of 6.2 lakh migrants stuck outside Bihar.”
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said, “As all Direct Beneciary Tranafer (DBT) transfers are routed through National Payments Corporation of India, there has been a logjam because of mass transfer from several states. Even normal RTGS takes time. All beneficiaries would realise the amount soon.”
Meanwhile, a Bihar Consumer Protection Department official said that the free ration had been disbursed, and the beneficiaries would get it soon. “We know there has been some delay but it is time of crisis and people have to cooperate with the system,” the official said.