Food dept rapped for delay in distribution of BPL ration cards

Food dept rapped for delay in distribution of BPL ration cards

79,815 applications received, only 646 issued: ZP panel chief

Zilla Panchayat Social Justice Standing Committee president Beerihundi Basavanna expressed displeasure over the Food and Civil Supplies department for its poor performance in issuing ration cards.

He said the department in the district had received 79,815 applications for Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration cards five months ago but only 646 BPL cards had been issued so far. He was speaking during the progress review meeting of the 20-point Karnataka Development Programme at the ZP office here on Tuesday.

“People belonging to economically backward classes use BPL cards for availing benefits like treatment under various schemes in hospitals while availing foodgrain from fair price shops is just one purpose of the card. If people do not possess BPL ration cards they suffer a lot. If the Food and Civil Supplies department does not discharge this basic function properly, what else will the officials do?” he asked.

He decried the publicity garnered by Senior Deputy Director of the department, Ka Rameshwarappa, while issuing a single ration card to a deprived family recently. The department was represented by in-charge Assistant Director Shivaswamy.

He initially informed the meeting that 300 ration cards would be issued per month as the department was suffering from staff crunch but later increased the target to 2,000 per month.

He cited non-cooperation of village accountants who are supposed to verify the veracity of the applications, and also the recently held Nanjangud and Gundlupet bypolls to the Assembly, for the lapse. He finally agreed to take steps to issue 10,000 cards per month.

ZP Chief Executive Officer P Shivashankar asked officials of the Agriculture department as to why there was a delay in disbursement of crop-loss compensation to farmers. Joint Director for Agriculture Somasundar said that crops on 1.24 lakh hectare of land in the district had been lost due to drought and the government had issued Rs 91 crore as relief. “Rs 33.7 crore has been disbursed among 80,000 farmers. Many farmers are yet to seed their Aadhaar numbers to their respective bank accounts which is resulting in a delay in disbursement of the relief,” he said.

He expressed hope over the monsoon and said that, “Till the end of May this year, the district has received 309 mm of rain, which is 118 mm more than the average expected rain. So far, 400 tillers and 2,500 tarpaulins have been provided to farmers.”

ZP Planning Officer Manjunath said that no new drinking water project has been taken up. “Rs 500 crore is needed for the under-progress multi-village permanent drinking water projects in the district. Last year Rs 170 crore was released by the government. This year, Rs 200 crore has been sought,” he said.

ZP president Nayeema Sulthana, vice president K Nataraj, Agriculture Standing Committee president Dayananda Murthy and Education Standing Committee president Jayalakshmi were present at the meet.