Technical glitches delay delivery of ration cards

Shortage of men and machines hindering work, say staff

Offices of the Food and Civil Supplies Department in the City are being flooded with ration card applications. But the authorities are unable to meet the demand as ration card delivery is hit by technical glitches.

Dhanush K, a resident of Vijayanagar, is running from pillar to post to get his ration card. It has been almost four months since he applied for the ration card online and a month since he uploaded his biometric details.

However, he has not received any response from the Department so far. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Dhanush said after submission of necessary documents, operators at the food centres promised that the ration card would be delivered within 10 days. 

“However, I have not got any response yet. I am visiting the divisional office regularly, but it has not been of much help, except for mere assurances,” he said. A staff member at the Bangalore West Food office said they have received 70,000 applications till date, but have delivered only 3,000 ration cards so far.

Shortage of staff

“We have only one printer at our office and by the time 150 cards are printed, the machine stops working. Every day hundreds of residents queue up for their cards. Many a time, the printer breaks down. Lack of staff in attending to the technical problems has also added to the delay,” he said.

Another staffer at the office said they require at least three more printers and an in-house technician. 

“Many a time, thumb impression of the applicant does not match while delivering the card, due to technical glitches,” said a senior official from the Food office in Bangalore South. Over-crowding at the Food offices and lack of staff is another problem. 

Poor infrastructure

“The number of applicants are in large numbers and the men and machines attending to them are minimum. We are planning to provide additional printers to the Food offices.

We were not able to get the files approved due to the ongoing political tussle in the State. But the situation is likely to improve in the coming days,” said a deputy director from the Food and Civil Supplies Department, on condition of anonymity.

It can be noted here that as many as 31 lakh people from across the State, including seven lakh from Bangalore, have applied for new ration cards. Bio-metric details of most of the applicants have been collected for the delivery of cards. As many as 160 franchisees (photo bio-service centres) have been entrusted with the task of taking photographs, collecting fingerprints and other bio-metric details of the ration card seekers. 

There are a total of 765 photo bio-service centres across the State, including those in the jurisdiction of select gram panchayats, taluk offices and offices of the deputy directors of the department for recording bio-metric details.

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