PDS in disarray, beneficiaries cry foul
By Express News Service | Published: 04th June 2013 09:35 AM |
The beneficiaries of Public Distribution System (PDS) in the district continue to be deprived of regular supply of subsidised items due to erratic distribution and large scale corruption in selection of beneficiaries.
To provide the PDS items, there are 1,715 retail shops in the district including 588 in Balangir, 440 in Patnagarh and 587 in Titlagarh sub-divisions. The administration is distributing 1,06,426.60 quintals of rice, 1464 KL of kerosene, 4704.30 quintals of sugar and 14169.95 quintals of wheat per month under various schemes.
However, there have been complaints from various pockets of the district that the PDS items do not reach the beneficiaries regularly. The residents of Talpali para area of Balangir town had gheraoed local municipality office alleging that the list of poor left out beneficiaries was erroneous.
Sabitri Dash of Rahenbhata village said she is getting poor quality of rice every time and that also she is forced to take without being weighed.
Besides, she has never been given her quota of four litres of kerosene as per the provisions of PDS.
Laxmi Mirdha of Adendunguri village under Agalpur block alleged that she is getting rice once in two months and kerosene once in six months.
Surubali Harpal of Demuhan village under Gudvela block alleged that she does not have BPL, APL or ration card. She had approached the sarpanch, BDO, MLA and MP of the district for a Poor Left Out (PLO) card but in vain, she added.
According to 2011 Census, Balangir had a population of 1,648,574 registering an increase of 23.29 per cent over 2001 Census. But the beneficiary list prepared in 1997 has not been revised. As a result, many deserving beneficiaries remain deprived of PDS benefits.
According to official sources, 4,30,805 ration cards are in circulation in the district. There are 1,64,681 BPL beneficiaries, 1,48,748 APL beneficiaries, 52,893 beneficiaries of Antodaya Annapurna Yojana (AAY), 2,518 Annapurna card holders, 58,047 PLO beneficiaries, 3,920 Reserved Disabled Persons (RDP).
Admitting irregularities in PDS, Balangir Civil Supply Officer Shiv Prasad Dora said, “Several complaints have come to me from rural areas of the district. The panchayat and other agencies are not monitoring the PDS system. In the selection process of BPL, APL, PLO beneficiaries, the department has no role to play.”
All the 285 panchayats in the district have been paid ` 25,000 as revolving funds to purchase the food grain. But non-distribution problem persists, added Dora.
Balangir Collector Deboraj Mishra said special attention is given in vulnerable pockets of the district to improve PDS services.