The Delhi government on Tuesday approved a proposal to start home or doorstep delivery of ration under the Targeted Public Distribution System to all beneficiaries, announced Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The decision was taken following a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The move allows home delivery of ration, including wheat flour, rice and sugar, in sealed packets under the National Food Security Act, 2013. The proposal, the Delhi government said, is aimed at providing a higher level of transparency in the delivery system through inbuilt online monitoring, which will weed out corruption and diversion of foodgrain, and intends to “save time and resources of ration beneficiaries in Delhi”.
Chief Secy. attends meet
The proposal will now be sent to Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal for his approval. It was mooted by the Department of Food, Supplies and Consumer Affairs. The meeting was also attended by Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash and other officials concerned.
“Attempts were made to put roadblocks in the passage of the scheme but it was approved by the Cabinet today (on Tuesday). It will now be sent to the L-G for his consent. I will request the L-G to consider it keeping in mind the poor residents of Delhi, and pass it instead of allowing the opinion of one or more members of the bureaucracy to stall it due to one reason or another,” Mr. Sisodia said at a press conference.
Theft of ration, poor quality of supplies and closed shops were the major issues that residents were facing, and the implementation of this new scheme would put an end to these, he added.
“The Delhi government is committed to ensure that eligible beneficiaries receive their due ration in a transparent manner with maximum ease,” Mr. Sisodia said.
Once approved by the L-G, the service provider for home delivery of ration will be selected in “a transparent manner through open bidding”, a senior government official said following the announcement.
The attention of the Cabinet, the Delhi government said in a statement, was also drawn to the extant rules and guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs asking the State governments to ensure home delivery of ration to the beneficiaries experiencing difficulty in getting their entitled quantum of subsidised foodgrain due to old age, physical disability and other reasons. According to the government official, there are around 7.2 million PDS beneficiaries in the Capital.
Metro Phase IV delay
The Deputy Chief Minister also took the opportunity to react to Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s remarks about the Aam Aadmi Party government “sitting” on the Delhi Metro Phase IV project, which is pending for the last three years.
“The proposal says that many of the routes (under Phase IV) are not viable and if implemented in its current form, the Metro fares will have to be increased, which will affect the common people. We have to make it more practical so that the daily commuters do not suffer,” he said.