Faultlines laid bare at public hearing on PDS

 At a public hearing on PDS at Jaibhuvaneshwari Nagar slum near Kanteerava Studio organised by Daksha Samuha and facilitated by Centre For Advocacy and Research (CFAR) on Wednesday, Balasubramaniam said: "Political interference in distribution of ration cards has led to distribution of BPL (below poverty line) cards to those not entitled to them.”

Urging organisations working in the area as well as community members to take steps to rectify the problems, he said: "A public interest litigation has to be filed, if we want the State government to follow the Supreme Court order in a Right to Food case on giving 35 kg of ration, as against the present ceiling of 20 kg per family."

He asked the officials of the Food and Civil Supplies department to submit a report within 15 days to the Lokayukta on the steps taken by the department with regard to complaints put forth at the hearing.

Names misspelt

A survey carried out by CFAR among 350 card holders of Jaibhuvaneshwari Nagar revealed that in 37 per cent of the cases, names were misspelt or photos were misrepresented. In many cases, the names of the children of the card holders were not included.

About 60 per cent of the

widows had BPL cards, instead of AAY (Antyodaya Anna Yojana) cards. All the 350 card holders said they had not been given sugar on a monthly basis in the last two years; almost everyone complained that they got sugar only once or twice a year.

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