Special Correspondent

Civil Supplies Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy to launch programme at village near Tirupati on January 24

Officials asked to scrupulously follow deadline in spite of some problems Scarcity of Iris cameras, interruptions in power supply and funds shortage citedOfficials told to ensure that every eligible family receives ration cardVillage, and not fair price shop, to be treated as unit for distribution

HYDERABAD: Distribution of ration cards in rural areas of the State will be launched on January 24 and completed by March 31, the deadline fixed by the Government after several rounds of discussions with Civil Supplies and Revenue officials.

Civil Supplies Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy will launch the programme at a village near Tirupati on January 24. In other districts, in-charge/ district ministers will undertake the exercise.

Officials have been asked to scrupulously follow the deadline in spite of some identified problems such as scarcity of Iris cameras used for photographing beneficiaries, interruptions in power supply and non-release of funds at the local level.

Videoconference held

District-level officials highlighted these problems when Civil Supplies Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy interacted with them at a videoconference here on Monday. The Minister said sufficient funds would be released for acquiring these cameras and the issue of ensuring continuous power supply was taken up with APTransco.

Nominal charge

The officials were asked to ensure that every eligible family received a ration card. "This must be done without any complaint of corruption," he said, referring to complaints in this regard. The beneficiary, however, would have to pay Rs. 40 towards photographing.

The Civil Supplies Commissioner Bhanwarlal and Civil Supplies Corporation MD Adhar Sinha, participated in the conference. K. Sunitha, MD of Andhra Pradesh Technologies Services, said the software problem had been overcome with the introduction of Telugu software.

The Minister asked the officials to treat village and not the fair price shop as the unit for distribution. He told reporters later that the distribution of cards had been completed in urban areas of the State except at Hyderabad, Tirupati and Rajahmundry where it would be concluded shortly.