The preliminary estimate is that 15 to 20 per cent ration cards in Tamil Nadu may be bogus. So what does the government hope to achieve in the count that will go on till year-end?
The ration card enumeration exercise under way in different cities and districts of the State is expected to be completed by December 31, said Joint Commissioner (Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection) C.N. Maheswaran here on Friday.
The government had announced the enumeration in a bid to ensure that genuine card holders continued to enjoy the benefits from the government, apart from using it for identification purposes. The effort would facilitate elimination of bogus cards in the process.
It had come to light that there may be about 15 to 20 per cent of bogus cards in circulation across the State, he said, and added that the discrepancies in actual population and ration card beneficiaries would be checked during this enumeration.
As against the State’s population of 6.64 crore as per the last census, the number figuring in the ration cards stood at 8.14 crore. Mr. Maheswaran said they had issued a total of 1.99 crore ration cards. For successful enumeration, public cooperation was essential.
He clarified that any resident not available at the time of enumeration could appear before the officer concerned and get his/her forms verified, corrected and updated. By producing all relevant documents such as ration card, EB card, LPG card and Electors Photo Identity Card, the enumeration would be accurate. There would be no room for any discrepancies, he noted.
Revenue staff and teachers had undergone training on how to carry out the door-to-door enumeration. In the first phase, towns, including Tiruchi and Coimbatore, had been completed. Currently, enumeration was under way in 15 districts, including Chennai, Madurai, Nilgiris, Kancheepuram and Sivaganga.
On an average, each enumerator would be visiting 40 to 50 homes a day and complete the work as per schedule, Mr. Maheswaran said, and added that to ensure that the exercise went off smoothly, various officials at different locations, including special squads from the Civil Supplies Department, had been deployed.
The enumeration which began on September 1 in Madurai district involves 2,205 enumerators. District Collector N. Mathivanan reviewed the progress with officials and inspected a couple of locations.