CUTTACK: At a time when Cuttack district is witnessing a spike in cases, distribution of ration under the Public Distribution System (PDS) to beneficiaries by using electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices and conducting biometric scanning has left both the dealers and people in a tizzy. They apprehend that this will only lead to further rise in Covid infections.
A PDS dealer of Paramhansa village near Kandarpur succumbed to the disease a week back. After the dealer’s death, the district civil supply officials tagged the ration quotas to another dealer in the locality nearby for distribution of essentials. Locals, however, said that many PDS beneficiaries had availed ration from the infected dealer which is now a cause of concern.
The State government has issued a directive on distribution of PDS commodities with biometric scanning authentication of the beneficiaries through iris or fingerprint scanner attached to the e-PoS for maintaining transparency.
This has left the dealers and beneficiaries worried as they feel it can lead to spread of infection if not managed properly. Opposing the decision, the representatives of Cuttack PDS Dealers Association have urged the administration to suspend the biometric authentication for PDS distribution. But the administration is yet to take a call. “We cannot suspend the biometric authentication as it is a government decision to bring transparency in the PDS system”, said Civil Supply Officer Tushar Kant Deo.