Open fair price shop in Baprola so that poor are served well: HC

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The Delhi High Court has asked the AAP government to open a fair price shop (FPS) at Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojana, Phase-2, Baprola, for the convenience of more than 800 families mostly belonging to the economically weaker section.

Justice Nazmi Waziri took note that the nearest FPS is approximately 2.5 km away, and women have to walk through deserted stretches and forest areas to fetch rations and feed their families.

“It is in the interest of the State to ensure that citizens do not have to chart their ways through difficult areas simply to get foodgrains at subsidised prices,” Justice Waziri said.

“In the special facts and circumstances, it is appropriate that the Delhi government open an FPS in the aforesaid place or in the immediate that the poorest of the poor are served well by the State,” the court ordered.

The court’s direction came while hearing a plea for an FPS by residents of Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojana.

The government said that there are only 320 ration cardholders in the area; therefore it may not be feasible to operate an FPS with a small amount of margin money. The margin money is ₹2 per kg of foodgrain supplied by an FPS. Generally, each FPS caters to about 1,000 ration cardholders, it said.

Exception to rule

The High Court, however, highlighted that there is an exception to the rule where an FPS can be opened for lesser numbers.

As per the guidelines for allotment of FPS outlets, as notified by the Delhi government in August 1997, an FPS can be established in an area where there are about 1,000 food cardholders and about 1,400 cards in case of kerosene oil depot.

The guidelines also provided that in case of JJ (jhuggi jhopri) clusters and other areas inhabited by poorer sections of society, and in special cases, relaxation of norms for opening of a new PDS outlet can also be considered.

The High Court ordered the Delhi government to submit a compliance affidavit by November 30, and posted the case for further hearing on December 8.

During the hearing, the counsel, representing the petitioner, said that there exists a community centre in the residential area and a portion of it has already been earmarked for opening of an FPS.

The counsel contended that due to the long distance of 2.5 km for the nearest FPS, the morsel of food comes at a palpable cost to the safety and security of the residents.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 6:27:18 AM |

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