Special Correspondent

Irregularities alleged in distribution process

ONGOLE: Villagers of Umamaheswarapuram in Mundlamuru mandal took trouble to come all the way to Ongole to bring to the notice of district Collector alleged irregularities in issue of ration cards. They alleged that officials issued white ration cards only to those recommended by dealers without verifying the economic status of families. Consequently, while white cards were issued to several ineligible families, poor families had to content themselves with pink cards.

No survey

Umamaheswarapuram has a population of nearly 5,000. While there are 2,250 voters in the village, the number of families is 870.

Yet civil supplies officials chose to hold Designated Photography Location (DPL) centre at Purimetla village. Officials did not conduct any survey in their village to ascertain the economic status of the families.

Ration shop dealers recommended white cards only to those who do not demand kerosene and those who are migrant labourers and stay in the village only for three or four months in a year.

Probe sought

The villagers asked Joint Collector Siddhartha Jain to order an inquiry into the irregularities and conduct proper survey.

When contacted, Martur MLA G. Ravikumar admitted that civil supplies department did not conduct survey to identify genuine beneficiaries in 90 per cent of villages and issued white cards only on the recommendation of ration shop dealers.

Mr. Siddhartha Jain said he had ordered an inquiry by officials outside the mandal.