A press note released on November 10 said that intensive verification of ration cards has begun in Bangalore, which will soon be extended to the other cities, districts and taluks in the State. Commissioner for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Harsh Gupta said in the press note that in view of the large number of complaints received from the public on the alleged bogus ration cards and misuse of ration by the Fair Price Shops, the Department has taken this initiative.
How is verification carried out?
Gupta said that the Department, which has 42 Food Inspectors in the Bangalore Informal Rationing Area, has formed two teams consisting of 21 Inspectors each for this verification campaign.
The Department will select one Fair Price Shop at random and take the list of card holders of that Shop. Then, the Inspectors will be asked to pay a house-to-house visit and verify the details of card holders and the members cited in the ration card in the jurisdiction of that particular Fair Price shop.
At the end of the verification, if it comes to light that there are significant number of bogus cards in a Fair Price Shop, the license of the Fair Price Shop will be initially suspended and later on cancelled, besides, action will be taken to recover the quantum of misused ration.
In addition, the inspector of the area will be suspended vis-a-vis. Action will be initiated against the owner of the Fair Price Shop and the Food Inspector, by lodging a criminal case on both of them.
There are 20,000 Fair Price Shops – each shop has some 600 odd card holders – all over the State. Due to the shortage of staff, the department plans to verify one Fair Price Shop in one zone out of the five zones in Bangalore Informal Rationing Area and 30 Districts every week to filter and cancel bogus ration cards, to take action against Fair Price Shop owners misusing the ration, and initiate action against the erring officials responsible for the issue of bogus ration cards.
64 card holders non-existant out of 205!
Harsh Gupta said that a team of Inspectors of the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs took out a list of ration card holders of Manjunath C C H, a Fair Price Shop in Chamarajpet in Bangalore South Zone Informal Rationing Area, this morning.
In a four-hour house-to-house visit on Sunday, the inspecting team could not trace the addresses of 64 card holders – out of the addresses of 205 card holders verified – which might be anonymous addressees with pseudonymous names ! As many as, 31 card holders had changed their address and four card holders had shifted to far-off places.
The Department has suspended the license of the Fair Price Shop and recover the misappropriation of ration from the shop owner. The Department will also suspend the Inspector of the area or the Inspector, who responsible for the issue of bogus cards, initiate disciplinary action and lodge criminal case against the concerned Inspector, says an official press release.
This is an edited version of a press note sent by the State Information Department, published as part of Message Forward, a service by Citizen Matters.