Hyderabad: The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Minorities Department Chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail on Tuesday demanded that the State Government issue temporary Food Cards to poor and middle-class people not possessing White Ration Cards so as to provide the rice and other commodities for the next three months in view of lockdown due to Coronavirus.
Abdullah Sohail, in a media statement, said that there were 87,54,322 Food Security Cards covering nearly 2.82 crore population across Telangana State.
However, he said there were lakhs of people who do not possess a White Ration Card despite eligibility. Similarly, the ongoing lockdown has deteriorated the economic conditions of lakhs of middle-class families and most of them are almost starving for food.
“As advised by the former president of Congress party Rahul Gandhi, Telangana Government should issue temporary Food Cards to all those not having FSCs and supply them rice and other commodities on par with other BPL families,” he said.
The Congress leader said that the State Government should issue the temporary Food Cards based on Aadhar Cards or other valid identity cards.
“It is the duty of the government to ensure that no one dies of hunger during the ongoing crisis. While everyone is determined to win the battle against the Coronavirus, we must ensure that we do not lose a battle against hunger and poverty,” he said.
Abdullah Sohail said was huge of rice and other commodities kept in government godowns across the Telangana State. As per the details provided on the website of the Department of Consumer Affairs, Food & Civil Supplies, there is a huge stock of rice, wheat, sugar, Redgram dal, etc., kept in different godowns.
The MLS Stock Position, as on today (April 21) shows the availability of 612,366 Quintals of Rice; 13,05,516 Qtls of Wheat and 542,685 Kgs of Sugar. Since the harvesting season is on, all godowns across the Telangana State would have not only sufficient but surplus stocks of almost all commodities like rice and dal.
Therefore, he said that the State Government should issue Temporary Food Cards to all non-White Ration Cards holders and distributed the stocks preserved in the State and FCI godowns among the deserving population. He said there should no eligibility criteria to issue Temporary Food Cards and all applications should be treated as deemed approved.
“A middle-class person can feed his family in normal conditions. But due to prolonged lockdown, the bread earner has lost all the sources of livelihood and therefore, he is finding it difficult to feed his family,” he said.
The Congress leader urged the State Government to consider the idea of issuing Temporary Food Security cards on humanitarian grounds.
“While the government may feel satisfied after providing free rice to the BPL families, what would it do if any family belonging to middle-class or those not having White Ration Cards suffer from hunger?” he asked.
Abdullah Sohail also urged the State Government to waive off electricity and water charges for at least three months for all domestic consumers.
“Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao is directing the landlords not to seek rent for the next three months. He should also make an announcement on the waiver of electricity and water bills and direct the department not to disconnect the power or water supply for delay or non-payment of pending bills.
The State Government should also restrain the Traffic Police from collecting pending challans from vehicle owners. Almost everyone has lost their livelihood due to the ongoing lockdown. Therefore, they should be allowed to spend their little savings on food for survival, instead of harassing them to pay old challans,” he demanded.