Silchar, June 28: Lakhipur sub-division of Cachar with a homogenous population of tribals and non tribals located on the border of North Cachar Hills and Manipur has often hit the headlines for various scams and anomalies in respect of public distribution system (PDS). The ration cardholders have submitted memoranda to the sub-divisiol and district authorities concerned for proper investigation into their allegations umpteen times, but of no effect. The fair price shop dealers in nexus with the supply department have been virtually depriving the poor and beneficiaries of PDS in many ways.
With the implementation of Food Security Act, the mechanism for streamlining the system has also failed to bring about a change or check on corrupt practices. The grievances of common people continue to mount. After joining as the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, S Viswathan, IAS, exercising his power and authority issued official notices to the sub-divisiol authorities concerned to strictly monitor the PDS system so that its benefits reach the target consumers.
In order to caution the fair price shop dealers and the consumers not falling under the category of BPL, a general meeting organized by South Binkandie Development Agency attended by the dealers and consumers and addressed by SDO (civil) T T D Daulagupu, Superintendent of Supply, Lakhipur, Dilip Roy, and BDO Binkandie, Prabal Dasgupta. Daulagupu said the dealers have to be henceforth cautious in respect of supplying the BPL, AYL rice and kerosene meant for those whose annual income does not exceed more than Rs.1 lakh.
Significantly, a 5 member body consisting of the supply inspector, BDO, GP secretary, ZPC member and AP president as formed by the sub-divisiol administration will make a thorough scrutiny of the lists of all the 57 fair price shop dealers under Binkandie Co-operative Society covering 9 GPs. It was made clear that those consumers with more than Rs.1 lakh income annually will face deletion of their mes from the lists maintained by the shops. Rich people and government employees whose mes have entered the lists shall be deleted.
The mes of those deleted shall be replaced by the poor and under-privileged. If no deletion was made, FIR shall be lodged against the persons and the fair price shop dealers. The lists have to be checked and re-checked every month to make it error free by the 5 member body. There have been serious allegations that the beneficiaries have been deprived of their fair price food and kerosene for months without any redressal. The order as issued by the Deputy Commissioner under Food Security Act makes it mandatory to ensure that consumers get their due rations every month without any break. If any complaint is received, legal action will be taken against the guilty dealers.
Moreover, SDO (civil) and Superintendent of Supply should also ensure that dealers display properly and prominently the food items and their stock position, maintain sale register as well as also show the rate. In case of negligence on the part of any dealer, show cause shall be issued. In organizing the meeting, T H Viswath Singh, president, M Brajesh Kumar Singh, secretary, and Shanti Kishore Sharma, member, South Barak Rural Development Agency took the initiative in larger public interest.