Ration shop stock data to go online

The Delhi government is working on a plan to check pilferage and misuse of subsidised foodgrain facility for the poor, by putting online the information related to sale and stock of food items at public distribution system (PDS) outlets.

Apart from this move to enhance transparency in PDS supplies, the food and supplies department is also stepping up its drive to weed out bogus ration card holders by using biometric verification of the head of the beneficiary family. 

Under a pilot project at fair price shops, one shop each in Greater Kailash and Moti Nagar used biometric devices before disbursing ration for April, said an official.Officials in the secretariat of Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung said the plan to put information on website was aimed at checking attempts to illegally divert foodgrain from fair price shops to traders in the open market.

 The details of sale of specified food articles, including wheat, rice and sugar will also be available online, said a senior official.

A presentation was also made before Jung by the department, detailing the tasks allotted to 70 field offices for checking pilferage and removing bogus card owners from the list of beneficiaries. 

The department has weeded out 21,000 bogus cards up until now. Special drives have been organised to enrol the homeless under the Food Security Act, according to Food, Civil Supplies and Consumers Affairs commissioner S S Yadav.

He said the department’s biometric pilot project in  Moti Nagar and Greater Kailash was also a success and it would now be extended to other areas. The sale of ration for the month of April 2014 to beneficiaries attached to these two FPS was done through biometric authentication of beneficiaries, he said.

An official said the Delhi government had also submitted to the central government a proposal of Rs 7.50 crore for introduction of biometric devices at FPS shops in the city. 

As per official estimates, there were 1.70 lakh fake ration cards in the city in 2008. Soon after the finding, a drive was launched to weed out the bogus names.

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