PDS to be strengthened: Minister

Special Correspondent

Mega project, which will fetch a turnover of Rs.1,000 crores, being planned

To make the ration shops active againPDS to be made `corruption free, efficient'`Quality food grains to be distributed through ration shops'

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Food and Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran has grand plans for his department in the coming days. He told the first meeting of district level civil supplies officials here on Thursday that he wanted them to implement a mega project, which would fetch a turnover of Rs.1000 crores during the coming Onam season.

Better system

Mr. Divakaran said he wanted to elevate the public distribution system to a new level.

The ration shops should be able to distribute quality food grains and essential commodities. He said he would not allow the public distribution (PD) system to be weakened.

He asked the officials to ensure that the card holders get the correct quantity of ration items. They should realise that they were handling the people and not files. They should not forget that they were under the people's observation. The officials would not be allowed to evade their responsibility. At the same time nobody would be harassed.

The Minister stated that he was trying to make the ration shops active again.

Arrear to be paid

The arrear amount for the distribution of free ration would be paid immediately. The funds for the ration being distributed now had been given to the District Collectors. He asked the officials to see whether the distribution of free ration was taking place. He wanted the ration distribution to be reviewed in the presence of the District Supply Officer once in three months and the report submitted.

Public faith

He wanted the PD system to be operated efficiently and in a corruption free manner. A good section of the people had faith in it. He said people wanted the Food and Civil Supplies Department and the producers of food items in the State to function as a consortium.

The meeting was attended by Sheela Thomas who holds charge of the Food and Civil Supplies Secretary, the Supplyco CMD, Jacob Thomas and Director, V.R. Padmanabhan.