Those who possess ration cards without photographs will not get foodgrains through the public distribution system from September in Karnataka.
This is an effort to weed out what the Government calls “bogus cards” that are in circulation in the State. The Department of Food and Civil Supplies has already conducted a drive to take photographs and issue cards with pictures attached, covering 83 per cent of cardholders. The department will hold a special photography drive between September 15 and October 15 to cover the rest.
As many as 1.6 crore below poverty line (BPL) and Antyodaya cards are in circulation in Karnataka right now.
Just before the code of conduct for the Parliamentary elections came into force earlier this year, the State Government issued ration cards to persons who applied with routine affidavits at the 882 Nemmadi Kendras. This was, however, without any process of verification. According to statistics available with the Food and Civil Supplies Department, 28,98,536 temporary cards were issued in this phase. This was in addition to the 78,50,727 BPL cards that were in circulation in the State.
Now, the Government says that at least 20 lakh cards currently in circulation are in possession of families who do not meet the criteria to be classified as BPL families.