There will not be any change in the quality of rice: Collector
TIRUNELVELI: `The Rs. 2 a kg rice scheme', which formed the fulcrum of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led Democratic Progressive Alliance's campaign during the just concluded Assembly elections, was launched in the district on Saturday in connection with the 83rd birthday celebration of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.
The Collector, G. Prakash, launched the scheme at a function held in a fair price shop at Nainaragaram panchayat and also at Kadayanallur.
Speaking on the occasion, the Collector said the rice, which was sold earlier at Rs. 3.50 a kg under the public distribution system and at Rs.3 in the Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme, would now be sold at Rs.2 to cardholders from June 3 onwards and the price reduction would not affect the quality of rice being sold under the PDS through 1,195 ration shops, including 22 shops being run by the self-help groups, in the district.
"While each family would be getting a minimum of 12 kg rice, the maximum would be 20 kg rice. The quantity of rice being sold under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana Scheme would be 35 kg and hence, there would not be any change in the quality of rice, owing to this price reduction," Mr. Prakash clarified.
The price reduction would benefit 7,73,600 cardholders, including 81,538 Antyodaya Anna Yojana Scheme beneficiaries, in the district.
All special tahsildars (public distribution system), taluk supplies officers, deputy tahsildars in the headquarters, regional deputy tahsildars, additional deputy tahsildars and officials of cooperative department had been asked to submit a report on the quality and quantity of rice available in the fair price shops.
Moreover, deputy tahsildars had been appointed in every taluk to monitor the distribution of the rice being distributed under `The Rs. 2 a kg rice scheme'. The salesmen in the ration shops should clearly display the reduced price of the rice in their shops, the Collector said.
A special cell would be functioning in the District Supplies Office to receive complaints pertaining to the distribution of rice under the `The Rs. 2 a kg rice scheme'.
Public may contact this cell at 0462 - 2500761 to register their complaints, "which would be sorted out within 48 hours".
The Kadayanallur MLA, S. Peter Alphonse, said the rice being distributed under this "revolutionary scheme", conceived and implemented by Mr. Karunanidhi even before the indelible ink put on the index finger on May 8 waned, would enable the poor to lead a decent life though their income was very low.
The government officials should ensure meticulous implementation of this scheme, he appealed.
Mr. Prakash also launched the distribution of free textbooks to schoolchildren at a function held at Kadayanallur.
The Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies, M. Sivasekaran, the District Supplies Officer, S. Suresh Kumar, and others participated.