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Proposal to set up special police team to check PDS rice smuggling in border districts

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Food Minister A.V. Velu (second right) reviewing the public distribution system of Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and Salem districts at the Krishnagiri collectorate on Wednesday.
Food Minister A.V. Velu (second right) reviewing the public distribution system of Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and Salem districts at the Krishnagiri collectorate on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter

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Krishnagiri: A proposal has been prepared to set up a separate team of police personnel to prevent smuggling of ration rice under the Public Distribution System (PDS) in border districts.

With the regular police personnel overburdened with Law and Order problems there was a strong need for a separate unit, Food Minister A.V. Velu has said.

Reviewing the PDS in Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and Salem districts at the Krishnagiri Collectorate on Wednesday, Mr. Velu said the team would include a Sub-Inspector and Commandoes and would function under the direct supervision of the District Collector.

The special police teams would be deployed in the border districts of Krishnagiri, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Tiruvallur he said.

The Minister directed officials concerned to verify applications seeking new ration cards and distribute cards to applicants within a period of 60 days.

About 9,984 new ration cards were allotted to cardholders in Krishnagiri district so far. Similarly about 14,229 and 27,823 cards were allotted to cardholders in Dharmapuri and Salem districts respectively.

Officials in Salem district seized over 300 tonnes of rice from January 1, to September 30, 2007. About 36 vehicles used for smuggling ration rice were also impounded. Similarly about 760 metric tonnes of rice and 79 tonnes of rice were seized in Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts.

Mr. Velu said that the Government had opened about 91 part-time ration shops in Dharmapuri district to enable cardholders purchase essential commodities easily. The Government will open new part-time ration shops in habitations with 150 families if the existing shop was more than a kilometre and a half away. About seven part-time shops were opened in Krishnagiri district so far.

The Special Public Distribution System (PDS) scheme had received an overwhelming response from the public. The Minister directed officials concerned to ensure that all part-time ration shops were opened uniformly at designated timings and dates.

The Minister also handed over Manimeghalai awards to Best performing SHGs and Panchayat level federation during the meeting.

Collector Santhosh Babu, Commissioner Civil Supplies Rajaram, Managing Director Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation Shanmugam and Vigilance Officer Sankaralingam were present.

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