HYDERABAD: There has been a shortage of Public Distribution System (PDS) rice at Fair Price Shops (FPS) in Hyderabad for past one week, admitted Civil Supplies department officials, who have passed on the blame for the supply shortage to the National Food Security Corporation (NFSC). To keep up the demand, officials are now pumping old stock of rice to the FP shops. However, the quality of rice has not gone unnoticed by people who are refusing to buy it.
The shortage has an impact on 1.46 lakh card holders who avail their commodities from the 831 FP shops in Hyderabad. The shortage has been felt by the public for the past one week. D Nirmala Devi, a PDS beneficiary from Indiranagar, said that every month she used to buy 24 kg of rice for `24. But on Thursday, her FP shop dealer told that “there were no stock of rice” and asked her to come next month. The four-member Below Poverty Line (BPL) family is depended on this monthly quota of rice for survival. The Civil Supplies department only provides rations for first 15 days of the month.
“They are giving us unrefined rice which has grit in it,” alleged K Mohan Rao, another PDS beneficiary from Karmika Nagar. When asked what’s the reason behind the delay, an FPS delaer from circle 7, said: “When we ask the officials, they say there is a shortfall of rice in godowns. The rice we are getting are unrefined rice and consumers are refusing to take it,” he added.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the department at first said there is adequate, if not more, rice stocks at godowns but later contradicted his statement by saying, “The shortage has been felt only at certain parts of the city, namely Sanath Nagar and Moosapet and city border areas and has not impacted the whole city.”
However, MK Rathod DSO, Hyderabad, admitted that there is a shortfall of rice in godowns. “The present stock is dispatched to dealers and they have started distributing rice, he said.