BHUBANESWAR: As the Mahanadi river water dispute and Polavaram issue dominated the proceedings of the Assembly in the monsoon session which concluded on September 29, several issues including large-scale irregularities in implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) could not be taken up for discussion.
Though Tureikela block in Kantabanji Assembly constituency of Balangir district is one of the most backward areas of the State, implementation of NFSA in the block has not been up to the mark as majority of the beneficiaries are yet to get ration cards.
Former Congress MLA from Kantabanji Santosh Singh Saluja alleged that beneficiaries of Jharni gram panchayat in Tureikela block have not received any foodgrains under NFSA for four months from April. Saluja said 901 card holders of the GP have not received 135.16 quintals of rice and 8.59 quintals of wheat for four months.
Besides, Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) card holders of the GP have not received 34 quintals of rice during the four months. The former Congress MLA alleged that corrupt officials misappropriated 400 quintals of foodgrains meant for beneficiaries of one of the most backward block. But MLAs and MPs of the district, majority of whom are from the ruling BJD, have not raised the issue in any forum so far.
Saluja alleged that 4,488 card holders in seven GPs of Tureikela block - Makhau, Kandhei, Tholmandal, Badadhokla, Ghunesh, Badabaki and Jharni - are yet to get 1,189 quintals of rice since 2014 though the issue has been raised several times in different forums.
Besides, 1,368 beneficiaries of Jharial GP of Bangomunda block of the district are also yet to receive 1,000 quintals of rice from 2014 despite several complaints, Saluja said.
The former Congress MLA demanded that beneficiaries of Kantabanji constituency, who are yet to get rations cards under NFSA since 2013, should be identified and covered under the scheme.
Saluja alleged that Congress workers led by him had gheraoed the Balangir Collectorate on September 1 over the issue and submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through him. But no action has been taken so far, he added.