BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has sought a report from the State Government over non-issuance of ration cards to households after 1992.
It has directed Secretary, Panchayati Raj Department to submit the report before September 1.
The direction has come in response to a petition filed by rights activist Akhand with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in February raising the issue of non-issuance of ration cards to beneficiary households.
The matter was transferred by NHRC to the State Commission. Akhand had submitted that no ration cards were issued to the beneficiary families after 1992 in Odisha.
Though there has been substantial increase in the number of Above Poverty Line (APL) families in the last two decades, they have been denied the benefits of ration cards.
Many BPL families are also waiting for their ration cards, the petition stated.
While families living under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) are entitled to get subsidised rice and other items distributed under public distribution system (PDS), the APL families get wheat and kerosene.
Department of Food Supply and Consumer Welfare had issued ration cards to beneficiaries in 1992-93. Later, on publication of BPL survey list in 1997, it had validated these cards as BPL cards.
Thus, the families which do not have ration cards are deprived of getting essential commodities under PDS on subsidised rate.
In its order, the OHRC observed that this is a general type of complaint which is governed by guidelines of Union and State Government. However, in view of the nature of complaint and the fact that the NHRC has sent the matter to this Commission, a report be called for from the Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Panchayati Raj Department, it ruled.