Ration for cardless: Tokens issued but supplies run out
New Delhi: As the Delhi government struggles to procure sufficient food grains to distribute to those without a ration card under its scheme, the woes of these residents of the Capital are multiplying by the day with many distribution centres now issuing tokens but running out of stocks before many collect their share.
In mid-May, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a scheme that his government would be launching to provide free dry ration to the lakhs of residents in the city who are not registered PDS beneficiaries. They do not have a ration card because the Centre's quota for yearly cards has left them out in the cold.
Despite this announcement of free ration for two months, the scheme did not see signs of taking off until a rap from the Delhi High Court, where it asked the Delhi government to make all necessary preparations by the end of May.
However, when the scheme was finally launched on June 5, it started off with major teething problems, with many NGO's working for the right to food and nutrition, pointing out that the government had grossly underestimated the number of people who would need this support.
In fact, on the first day, ration stocks had not even arrived at many of the centres, with some issuing tokens and asking beneficiaries to return the next day.
These problems have now multiplied and many government school distribution centres have now run out of ration stocks and shut down. At schools in Patparganj, Jasola Vihar, Trilokpuri, Bawan and Kirari, the only stocks that were left were of rice and wheat, owing to which distribution in these centres was stopped.
On Thursday, at a government distribution centre in Molarband, many needy residents queued up to get their share of supplies. They said they had come to collect it on Monday but due to low stocks were issued tokens and asked to come back on Thursday but when they arrived at the designated schools, stocks had run out and they were denied ration again.
In the Hauz Rani area too, residents were confused about when they will be able to get the ration as they waited for the day's stocks to arrive.
Importantly, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain has assured people that the government is working on ironing out these problems and producing more food grains from the FCI.