Senior citizens left in the lurch as biometric authentication fails at fair price shops

Senior citizens say they have been turned back at many ration shops as they the biometric authentication failed.

Senior citizens say they have been turned back at many ration shops as they the biometric authentication failed. | Photo Credit: K. PICHUMANI

Senior citizens in some parts of the city have complained that they were unable to procure essential commodities from fair price shops because of biometric authentication failure. They want the process to be simplified.

D. Sulochana, a senior citizen residing in TVS Colony, Anna Nagar Western Extension, said she had not been able to buy her quota of items from her ration shop for two months now as biometric data did not match.

“It is the same case with my son who is also a senior citizen. We have been asked to visit an e-seva centre to update biometrics. It is difficult for aged people like me to travel to various offices,” she said.

Residents said that approval of letters authorising a person to purchase commodities on behalf of the ration cardholders was delayed. Dhanasekar of Anna Nagar West said the verification process for the authorisation took several months. Moreover, four or five application forms had to be submitted for approval.

V. Rajagopal, president, Anna Nagar Western Extension Phase II Residents Welfare Association, said procedures for senior citizens should be simplified and authorisation and verification process for representatives of ration cardholders must be done without delay.

The Civil Supplies Department may consider delivering commodities at the doorstep of senior citizens who cannot visit the fair price shops.

‘Simple procedure’

Sources in the department said a person whose name was in the card could not be denied goods. If biometric did not match, the shopkeeper must register biometric failure and go ahead and provide the items. Consumers can call the helpline 1967 for details and clarifications.

The format for assigning another person to collect monthly supplies was simple. Even the house help and drivers may be sent. However, it is not possible to frequently change the authorised persons. As far as the door delivery of goods was concerned, it would be impractical considering the sheer scale of it. The cost of packing and transport would have to be borne by the consumer. In many cases, people might not be available at their homes to receive the supply.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2022 10:45:03 am |