Instead of 20 kg of rice, they get only 15 kg per month

Though Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was quick to announce that Below Poverty Line (BPL) families would get rice at Re. 1 a kg, as promised in the Congress manifesto, there are many basic anomalies in the Public Distribution System (PDS) that need to be plugged before well-meaning measures can be implemented.

In the months of May and April, Tumkur district got far less than its due share of wheat and rice, resulting in many families being denied their entitlement.

For the past few months, BPL card holders are getting a maximum of 15 kg of rice per BPL family while they are to get 4 kg of rice per head and a maximum of 20 kg per family.

As against the allocation of 73,990 quintals of rice, Tumkur district got 63,460 quintals in the months of April and May. It got 9,790 quintals of wheat in the same months as against the allocation of 16,400 quintals.

The district did not get a single grain of rice or wheat for APL card holders in April and May. The district used to get 6,510 quintals of rice and 3,210 quintals of wheat per month for APL card holders.

Lakshminarasaiah, agricultural labourer, from Madavara village in Koratagere taluk, told The Hindu: “I am getting 14 kg of rice, which is 6 kg less than what I used to get earlier. It is hard to manage with this quantity.” He said that there was no agricultural activities due to drought, but he works in a field which has borewell and earns Rs. 1,500 per month.

Deputy Director of Food and Civil Supplies K. Ramappa confirmed to The Hindu that Tumkur had not got sufficient quantity of grain to cover all families in April and May.

He said that it would be set right in June. According to the 2011 Census, Tumkur district has a population of 26,81,449 and 6,30,638 households are completely dependent on the Public Distribution System for food grains.

There are 4,69,238 BPL cards, 50,063 Antyodaya cards and 1,24,386 APL (Above Poverty Line) cards.