Jagatsinghpur: Integration of Aadhaar with public distribution system (PDS) was supposed to bring transparency into the process giving the deserving beneficiaries their due rights. That said, reckless linking by officials at the grassroot level has led to chaos at many places with deserving beneficiaries being deprived of their due supplies.
Worse, it also means that the supplies get credited to someone else’s account who probably doesn’t need it or may not aware of it. This helps the local dealers in selling off the PDS supplies in black market.
A point in case being the recent incident that came to fore in Dhinkia village under Erasama block of Jagatsinghpur district where the block administration had to pay three years of backlog PDS ration to a woman who had been deprived of the due rice for the corresponding period.
According to the woman, identified as Mamata Swain from Dhinkia, three members of her family were covered under National Food Security Act. Her husband Pramod had been drawing 35 kilograms of rice a month from the Dhinkia dealer point. He had last got the rice July 15, 2016. Thereafter, he was told that his wife’s name had been struck off and they would no longer get the PDS rice.
Pramod said that the dealer misbehaved with him when he wanted to know the reason why his wife’s name was struck off.
It was only a while days ago when Pramod, while surfing the internet, came to know that his wife’s name has been included under Antyodaya Yojana. What left him perplexed was that her quota of rice had continuously been withdrawn by someone else during the period while they had been deprived of the PDS rice.
Later, he lodged a written complaint with the Dhinkia samiti member on this context. He also lodged a complaint with the Erasama block development officer.
At the behest of BDO Kailash Chandra Behera, block accounts officer Bibhudutta Mishra conducted an investigation by visiting the village July 24, 2019 where the Aadhaar linkage issue came to fore.
During his investigation, Mishra found that the rice was bring withdrawn in the name of another Mamata from Trilochanpur panchayat after her Aadhaar number somehow got connected to the Dhinkia woman.
After receiving the report, BDO has directed the officials to give Mamata her backlog of rice in one go.
“It is okay that we are going to receive the backlog rice. But what about the dealer who had put my wife’s name under Antyodaya yojana to siphon off our rice, knowingly starved us and misbehaved me? And what about the persons responsible for wrong Aadhaar linkage? I demand strong action against all of them,” said Pramod.
When contacted, BDO Kailash Chandra Behera said the mistake has been rectified. Mamata would receive her rice of three years in one go and will continue to get her PDS quota. He, however, was evasive when questioned on what action is going to be taken against the erring officials who made the wrong linkage. “The district supply officer has been apprised of the issue and it is he who can take a call on it,” said the BDO.
It is important to note here that Mamata’s is not a one off case. A similar case came to fore few weeks back from Bhadrak district in which a PDS beneficiary was given nine months of pending PDS rice in one go after the issue was brought to the attention of the Chief Minister via Twitter.