47 ration dealers show-caused for supplying less quantity rice
Kolkata: The state Food and Supplies department has show-caused 47 ration dealers based in four districts in Jangalmahal for supplying less quantity of rice to the beneficiaries under the "Khadya Sathi" scheme.
"We have hardly received any complaints regarding the quality of rice but there has been a number of complaints about ration dealers depriving the beneficiaries of their proper share under the "Khadya Sathi" programme by providing less amount of rice. We have show-caused 47 ration dealers after prima facie verification of the complaints," state Food and Supplies minister Jyotipriya Mallick said on Saturday.
The recently formed grievance cell at the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) at Nabanna has also registered a number of complaints on the issue. "We have formed two vigilance teams for each of the districts like Purulia, West Midnapore, Jhargram and Bankura. This team will start doing the rounds in these districts from Wednesday to ensure that no one is deprived of his due quantity of rice. The vigilance team comprising a food service officer, quality control inspector, chief inspector and inspector will camp in the districts for six months," the minister added.
The Food department is also appealing to the beneficiaries to collect their earmarked quantity of rice once in a week rather than going to the ration shops once in every week. "There have been cases when dealers have kept their shops closed on certain days in a week and people have not received their due share. So we are urging every beneficiary to purchase their share of 5 kg rice at Rs 2 per kg at the beginning of the month from the ration shops," a senior official of the Food department maintained.
Among other measures to prevent such incidents, the department will soon introduce three separate WhatsApp numbers — one for rice, one for atta and the third for sugar in which people can register their grievances if any. The complaint once lodged will automatically reach the district controller, the department's head office and the sub-divisional controller.
"We will soon organise hearing at the district level and also at the sub-divisional level once in a week on Tuesday from 2 to 5 pm where people can come up with their grievances regarding food and steps will be taken to address their problems at an earliest," Mallick said.
The maximum number of irregularities have been noticed from Purulia and vigilance teams have already been activated there. It is learnt that 200 applications of grievances have reached the CMO at Nabanna among which 47 cases have been taken up by the Food department.