Major glitches in ration supply system leave poor high and dry

Nihad Amani

Hyderabad: The state has more than 674 ration shops across the city and claims to have distributed ration to more than 5, 41, 122 persons until Saturday.

But this statement by the Chief Minister of Telangana has come under a cloud as several cases have been reported of people being sent back from the shops.  The shop owners told these cardholders that their ration has been taken by some other persons in other districts.

Ration shop NO. 307, in Malaimet, Karwan Constituency had more than four such cases in which the cardholders were sent back with an explanation that they have picked up their quota of ration from Ranga Reddy district.

Shaheen, resident of Natraj colony Mallapally said, “I reached the shop at seven in the morning. When my turn came I showed my ration card. The shop owner told me that he cannot give me ration as the records show that somewhere in Ranga Reddy district my monthly ration was already withdrawn. When I argued he said he cannot help.”

Srikanth, who gets his ration from the same shop was also told the same thing when he went to get his ration from the shop.   

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The ration shop owner said that a number of such cases were coming up for the past few days. He also said, “I cannot do anything. The records say that she has already withdrawn the ration. I cannot give her anymore. She needs to speak to the higher authorities.”

Shaheen and Srikanth also expressed helplessness as they have no idea about what should be done to get there ration. “Mai kiya karna samjh nai aara. Mai jaake Ranga Reddy ku ration leli kate. Meku ku nai malum who shop kaan hai,” Shaheen siasat.com.

When siasat.com approached consumer affairs civil supplies it was revealed that they have got many such complaints. They have no idea what to know now. “We are looking into the matter. We will have proper inquiry done. Until then we cannot provide ration to these complainants,” said C. Padma, District Civil Supply Officer (DCSO).

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She also added, “We found out that in some cases the cardholders are actually going to other districts and receiving their ration. Later they are approaching the ration shops in the city again. So nothing can be done without proper investigation.”

When asked how long would it take to complete the investigation she said, “We cannot say for sure how many days it would take but would surely look into the matter.”

Lubna Sarwath, a social activist said, “They are poor. Food is a basic requirement. If they have to wait for the inquiry to complete they would surely die. Their empty plates are enough evidence for any official to see.”

On asking if the pending 45,000 ration card applications are realized DSCO Padma’s reply was vague. “I have no information about it at all.  You have to check with the higher officials.”  

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