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Online applicants to get ration cards in 2 months

Bangalore, May 25, 2012, DHNS : 1:27 IST
A sample of an APL ration card.
Ration cards to applicants who have applied online for the document will be issued within two months, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Shobha Karandlaje has said.

Addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Friday, Karandlaje said the Food and Civil Supplies Department had received 31.09 lakh applications for ration cards, including 23.01 lakh for the below poverty line (BPL) cards and 8.05 lakh for the above poverty line (APL) cards.

Of the applications received, 7.59 lakh have been approved for capturing photo and biometrics. The department is sending SMSes to applicants informing them to visit their nearest bio-photo service centres. Photographs and fingerprint biometrics of the applicant and his/her family members will be taken at the centres, Karandlaje said.

In rural areas, these centres are opened at the panchayat office, and in urban areas the services are available at Seva Kendras. The taluk-wise details of these centres are available on the website http://ahara.kar.nic.in

The status of the applications can also be accessed on the same website by keying in the ‘acknowledgement number’ received while applying for the card. As many as 1,000 biometric machines have been installed at the centres and 3,000 more would be installed soon, the minister said.

At the same time, as many as 33.92 lakh bogus ration cards, both in urban and rural areas, have been identified and weeded out.

However, there seems to some initial hiccups. During a presentation at the press conference to explain the online system of ration card registration, it was noticed that an application by a person in Bagalkot, who had applied for a new ration card, had been cleared despite the fact that he already possessed a BPL ration card.

Food and Civil Supplies Secretary B A Harish Gowda said action would be taken against the official concerned who cleared the application and steps taken to ensure such lapses did not recur.

He said applications would be invited for opening new fair price shops if the number of families in a jurisdiction exceeded 500 in rural areas and 800 in urban areas.

Replying to a query, the minister said the course of action again Comat Technologies (Private) Limited, accused of indiscriminately issuing ration cards during the last five years, would be decided soon.

The aim of the government is to ensure that all the 1.32 crore families have valid ration cards, she said.

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