GUNTUR: The district administration is gearing up to effectively implement the National Food Security Act in the district from April 1.
After taking stock of the situation and assessing the readiness of the official machinery to implement the Act here on Thursday, Joint collector Ch Sridhar told newsmen that under the Act, under which 5 kg of rice at Re 1 a kg would be distributed per head to 34,28,650 beneficiaries (white ration card-holders and their families) in the district. He added that those holding Annapoorna cards would be provided 10 kg of rice free of cost and those with Antyodaya Anna Yojana Scheme cards would be provided up to 35 kg per family.
Srihdar explained that there were 12.86 lakh white ration card-holders in the district and added that together with their family members the total number of beneficiaries would be 34.48 lakh people.,
He said that in a bid to ensure transparency and accountability in the Public Distribution System (PDS) and at the same time ensure that the beneficiary was getting the essential commodities correctly, Electronic Point of Sale (ePOS) system was being implemented in as many as 560 Fair Price Shops in 12 municipalities in the district. “All the FPS dealers will be provided with ePOS machines and the same will be linked to the electronic weighing scales. The entire operations in FPS and PDS will be electronically monitored by the higher officials”, he added.
Following the example of the Krishna district, the officials in Guntur district too have decided to utilise the Iris scanning in ePOS, if the validation of the fingerprints using the scanner in the ePOS machines proves difficult. “If that too does not provide correct information, manual verification will be done by the FPs dealers and they will note down the mobile phone numbers of the card-holders or their family members along with their ration card numbers. Usage of the ePOS will help the authorities know how much foodgrains - in terms of quantity and cost -- had been dispensed and what types were provided to the beneficiaries and when”, he said.
The JC said that the ePOS would be first implemented in the FP shops in municipalities and by end of May, they would be used in all FP shops in the district. “The new computerised PDS is already in place and we are keeping an eye on the movement of the essential commodities from MLC point to the FP shops”, he said.
With regard to the new ration cards, he said during the last Janmabhoomi programme, as many as 70,000 applications were received. After verification, new cards would be issued in due course. He said new applications could be submitted through Mee Seva. He said that those who were not utilising the white ration cards should drop them in the drop boxes at the Tahsildars’ offices.