Toor dal distribution through ration shop hit for second month in TN

Tenders have been finalised for procuring 13,000 tonnes, distribution will resume soon: Official
The market price for toor dal is Rs 160-Rs 200 a kg, and fair price shops sell it for Rs 30 a kg.
The market price for toor dal is Rs 160-Rs 200 a kg, and fair price shops sell it for Rs 30 a kg.

CHENNAI: The distribution of toor dal through fair price shops has been disrupted for the second consecutive month in June. Lakhs of consumers had to repeatedly visit ration shops owing to uncertainty about when it would be available. Those who were affected the most are daily wage workers who have relocated but not yet updated their address on their ration cards.

Toor dal is one of the most sought-after commodities at ration shops, with over 1.8 crore cardholders purchasing it each month. The market price is Rs 160-Rs 200 a kg, and fair price shops sell it for Rs 30 a kg. The state has 2.21 crore ration cards.

According to the government, about 4,426 tonnes of toor dal was procured and supplied to godowns and ration shops for June’s allocation, out of a total monthly demand of 19,000 tonnes. “Tenders have been finalised for procuring 13,000 tonnes and distribution will resume soon,” a senior official from the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation said.

Last week, Food Minister R Sakkarapani attributed the disruption in supply to a delay in obtaining approval from the Election Commission as the model code of conduct was in force until June 4. “For May, the request for procuring toor dal and palmolein was sent to the EC on May 4 and approval was received on May 17.

On the same day, tenders were floated to procure goods. As of June 18, about 13,799 tonnes of toor dal had been distributed through ration shops out of the total demand of 18,999 tonnes for May. Cardholders can receive supplies for May until June 30,” Sakkarapani said.

For the June allocation, toor dal for 44 lakh ration cards has already been supplied, and tenders for procuring the pulse for the remaining cardholders is under way, added Sakkarapani.

A section of consumers who spoke to TNIE said fair price shops have received only limited stock for those who had not received dal in May. “June’s allocation is yet to reach the shops,” said a resident of Ambattur, as informed by a ration shop staff member. He added that he had to spend Rs 180 to Rs 200 for purchasing dal for this month.

A 45-year-old woman from West Mogappair, who works as a domestic help, said her card was issued in a village near Kancheepuram. “After moving to Chennai, I used to travel to my village to get my supplies every month. This month, I visited the shop at least three times, and they still say the dal is not available.”

The staff at fair price shops in Chennai informed her that she could only obtain her supplies from the shop where her registered address is located. “I went to the ration shop twice in the last 10 days and I was told that dal had not been received at the godowns and was asked to come by the end of June,” she said.

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