Department has received 19,000 applications for new cards

Kolar district has 3,30,990 families eligible for ration cards but the number of ration cards issued in the district stands at 3,58,284 — a clear pointer to the large number of bogus cards under the Public Distribution System.

This came to light at a review meeting chaired by Minister of State for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Dinesh Gundu Rao here recently.

“This reflects the style of functioning as well as the inefficiency of the authorities of the department,” Mr. Rao lamented, and directed the officials to take steps to weed out bogus cards to ensure PDS foodgrains reached genuine beneficiaries.

According to the statistics provided by Chennabasappa Kodli, Deputy Director of the department, at the meeting, 3,58,284 cards had been issued in the district. This included 2,98,374 below the poverty line (BPL) cards and 59,910 to above the poverty line (APL) cards. The taluk-wise break-up is: Bangarpet BPL cards 81,062, APL cards 21,418; Kolar BPL cards 70,204, APL cards 18,824; Malur BPL cards 44,418, APL cards 7,383; Mulbagal BPL cards 58,724, APL cards 6,855; and Srinivasapur BPL cards 43,966, APL cards 5,430.

Interestingly, the department has received 19,000 applications for new cards.

It is said that double cards issued to even affluent families is the reason for such large number of ration cards in the district.

Antyodaya cards

Those at the meeting, including Mr. Rao, was taken aback when Mulbagal MLA G. Manjunath said two of his friends, who are lecturers with a monthly salary of Rs. 90,000, had Antyodaya cards. These cards are meant for BPL families. He, however, did not reveal the names of the lecturers, though the Minister wanted to know.

When the Minister asked the officials to take steps to weed out bogus cards and stop pilferage of foodgrains, a number of shirestedars and other staff expressed the difficulties they faced in handling the issue. Shortage of staff in the department and frequent slowdown of the computer server were among them. Mr. Rao suggested that the department officials take the help of other departments in verifying and removing bogus cards. “Approaching the Panchayat Raj Department staff will help in rural areas,” he said.

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