Soon, you can apply online for ration

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Shobha Karandlaje tries her had at weighing, while Secretary Food and Civil Supplies B A Harish Gowda looks on at the World Consumer Rights Day-2011 in Bangalore, on Tuesday. KPN

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the World Consumer Rights Day celebrations, the department’s Secretary B A Harish Gowda said that once data compilation and validation was done, consumers would be offered the choice of applying for fresh ration cards online. This facility would be available for both Above Poverty Line (APL) and Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards.

The online application process would be possible as the department would be in possession of details of existing cards in the State through their drive to eliminate bogus domestic LPG gas connections.

Harish Gowda further explained that this facility would be available for urban areas. For rural areas, efforts were already afoot to connect the cards to the property numbers and once this data was established, the local panchayats would be involved in issuing cards.

“The panchayats have never been involved in this effort before. At the moment, they are already connecting property numbers to the ration cards. Once this is done, anybody can just approach the local panchayat to apply for a ration card. They need not have to go to any other office,” Gowda said.

The Panchayats will also use technical support from people, available to them under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

The department is at present sifting through data submitted by people on domestic LPG connections. The department has received information about 51 lakh connections as against 74 lakh connections in the State. While the data entry is almost complete, the validation of the given data is yet to begin.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day, Minister Shobha Karandlaje asked consumers to be more aware of their rights and be more cautious during purchases, whether it was medicine or gold.

Pointing out that consumer awareness was already being taught as a part of the curriculum, she said it would be introduced in another 3,000 schools shortly. A plan was also on the anvil to train Stree Shakti groups on their rights as consumers, the minister added.

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