Consumers yet to get ration as per 2011 census, no new depots opened after March

Budget Announcements vs Reality

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU: Like other departments, most of the commitments made by the then Minister for CAPD on the floor of the House (Legislative Assembly) during annual grants in March this year, with regard to providing ration to the consumers as per 2011 census, opening over  3100 new ration outlets in J&K, computerization of  records in CAPD offices, introduction of GPS system for tracking of  the ration carrying vehicles have merely remained in papers even till today.
Official sources told the Excelsior that efforts are being made by the CAPD department to provide ration to the people as per 2011 census but it could not be ensured in view of scarcity of ration. There is no progress on the opening of new ration outlets/ depots and moreover, department is yet to be computerized. Huge funding is required for this purpose and even the GPS system for tracking of trucks carrying food grains/ ration to different destinations from  respective food stores is yet to be installed.
The sources, however, disclosed that electronic weighing machines have been installed at most of the ration outlets/ depots and consumers have been asked to check the quantity in ration bags before lifting from the outlets. The process of making new ration cards/ smart cards has also been started and the consumers will get Smart Cards  in place of old ration cards for getting ration. It will keep all the details about the ration card holder and family and it will be linked to Adhar Card and cameras have also been installed in many CAPD stores. Some cameras said to have been installed at some of the important food stores.
On the implementation of National Food Security Act, the sources said that Government has taken resolve to implement it shortly but there is opposition from a few political parties. The new ration cards are being prepared  for the purpose and it will be implemented in next couple of months. The NFSA is most beneficial for the people of this State as it will provide huge relief to the poorer and down-trodden.
Provincial president of  National Conference and MLA Nagrota, Devinder Singh Rana when contacted said that ration is not being provided to the consumers. Not to talk of 2011 Census, even the ration/ sugar is not being supplied by the CAPD department as per old scale. There is massive scarcity and the people of the State are badly suffering. There are still tall and hollow claims but on ground, the situation is quite different. The promises made in the Legislature were not fulfilled and it amounts to contempt of the House.
Referring to the claims of the then CAPD Minister, Ch Zulfkar Ali regarding implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA), the NC provincial president said the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had strongly resisted when the coalition partner- Congress tried to exert pressure on NC to implement it. Rana said if the NFSA is implemented, the people of the State would certainly suffer. It is not good legislation for the people of this State and they must go for its review. When asked about the opening of new ration outlets in his Nagrota constituency, the MLA said  not even single new outlet has been opened in his constituency. No record has been computerized in CAPD offices or any GPS system installed and even there is no impact of any new Act to check hoarding and profiteering as claimed by the Minister on the floor of the House during previous Budget session.
Former Minister and chairman of National Panthers Party, Harshdev Singh said, it  has become old practice that most of the promises made on the Floor of the Legislature by the ruling Ministers are not honoured. In the case of CAPD department too, majority of the promises made during debate on grants in March this year were not fulfilled. Mr Singh said, “ Whatever was claimed in the House by the CAPD Minister, has remained merely on the papers. There is nothing concrete visible on the ground. Till date, no promise has been fulfilled. People are not getting ration as per 2011 Census and no new ration depot has been opened despite promise of opening 3102 such outlets in the State.”
There is no impact of so called Act to check hoarding and profiteering and moreover, ration is not available even as per old scale. The distribution as per 2011 Census still seems to be a distant dream for the department. The mechanism to check pilferage of ration and install GPS system to track ration carriers/ trucks has not been installed. The new Smart Cards against old ration cards  are yet to be introduced. The CAPD has hardly started procedure to collect new forms for preparing new ration cards.
Singh, a former MLA from Ramnagar further said, “ The issue is serious and it is clear contempt of the House. The Speaker who is custodian of the House and the rights of  the Members, must take cognizance of the matter. Some body has to rake up the issue in the House. But there seems to be no one from this region to raise voice of the people at present,”  the NPP leader maintained.

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