‘PDS supply to people without cards have dried up’


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Ration distribution for people without ration cards has ceased in most areas in the national capital and the PDS grain distribution was yet to start in most places for July, according to civil society organisation Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan. This, the civil society said, exposed the people who have lost livelihoods to more vulnerabilities amid the pandemic.     

After an order from the Supreme Court, Delhi govt started providing NON PDS rations on June 5 from 282 schools with a cap of 20 lakh people. It allowed those who don’t have a ration card to avail five kg of food grains by showing their Aadhaar card. As per the policy, 282 schools were designated as distribution centres for the non-PDS ration where people can walk in and register and avail grains. 

Between July 12 and 17, DRRAA volunteers visited 221 designated schools and found that 92 per cent exhausted the ration stock and not supplying ration. Most had run out of stock several days ago and the stock had not been replenished since, it said. 

With Delhi having a network of 2,000 ration shops, volunteers visited 37 shops in Chirag Delhi, Masjid Moth, Greater Kailash, Sant Nagar, Kusumpur Pahari, Ber Sarai, Ekta Vihar, Sector 7 R. K Puram, Munirka, Hauz Rani, Kalu Sarai, Begumpur, Adchini, Yusuf Sarai, Harkesh Nagar and Govindpuri on July 20. The Abhiyan found that 97 per cent of the surveyed ration shops were not distributing rations.

Of these, 42 per cent were closed during working hours while the rest not distributing grains as either they were yet to receive the stock or was not authorised to start distribution. Only one shop was open and distributing grains to ration cardholders, the survey said. It was a matter of ‘grave concern’ that during the Covid pandemic, despite people bearing the brunt of the twin crisis of health and financial distress, the government was failing to ensure basic food security, said the civil society organisation. 

“The PDS is a lifeline for people during this time of crisis. It is extremely concerning that we are now nearly in the third week of July and ration distribution for the month has not started in most ration shops in Delhi,” the Abhiyan said. “Many people have lost their livelihood and are dependent on foodgrains provided under the PDS to feed themselves and their families,” it added.

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