PDS outlets will open at 8 a.m. instead of 9 a.m.

The State Government has ordered opening of the Public Distribution System (PDS) outlets an hour in advance i.e. at 8 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. to enable family card holders to affix the additional renewal slip thus extending the validity of the card for a year.

In Tamil Nadu, there are 2.10 crore family card holders attached to 33,222 PDS outlets. Coimbatore District accounted for 1,347 outlets of which 254 are part-time outlets and four are mobile outlets.

There are 3,386 cards for the policemen and their families. As many as 7,372 card holders do not procure any commodity but retain the cards as address proof.

In total, the district has as many as 10.30 lakh cards.

With the introduction of smart cards getting delayed, the State Government has decided to affix renewal slip to enable the card holders to buy commodities during the year 2013 and 2014.

The exercise commenced from January 1. The outlets are staggering the exercise of affixing the slips with 150 to 200 cards per day either on the basis of numbers or on the basis of wards. The staggering of cards was to avoid crowding at the outlets.

The details of card holders to turn up for affixing the slip from Monday to Friday are displayed at the PDS outlets. People who could not get attached the slip on the dates allotted to them could turn up at the outlet on Saturdays.

The early opening of the PDS outlets was to enable the couple going for work to turn up at 8 a.m. and get the slip attached before going for work, said Collector M. Karunagaran.

Though the renewal slip affixing exercise would go on till February end, given the pace at which it was happening officials are confident of completing the exercise either before Pongal or immediately after Pongal holidays, officials said.