At a time when the Odisha government is taking all preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring livelihood, allegations of gross irregularities in public distribution system (PDS) have come to the fore from Cuttack district.
PDS beneficiaries in Tangi and Choudwar have accused the dealers of being involved in massive irregularities in ration distribution. Some beneficiaries in Tangi alleged that they are unable to get foodgrains and other items that they are entitled to receive from the ration shops as per the State government’s order.
They also alleged that the dealers are giving them lesser than the specified quantity. "We are unable to get what the government is providing to us. Instead of 5 litre of kerosene, they (dealers) give us only 3 litre. If we are to get 10 kg of rice, they will give us only 3 kg," alleged Ranjit Samal, a beneficiary.
In view of the pandemic, the State government recently announced to give ration for two months in advance to PDS beneficiaries- five kg subsidised rice/wheat and kerosene to each family member of a beneficiary.
"We want the dealer to be changed as he is not distributing the food grains as per the government order. Besides, the dealer misbehaves with us,” alleged another beneficiary, Sulochana Sahoo.
The beneficiaries had reportedly apprised the local sarpanch and the block food supplies authorities about the matter, but no step has been taken so far against the dealers, they alleged.
Similar allegations have also came to the fore from Ward No. 6 in Choudwar in the district. "The dealer is not properly distributing the rations and also harassing the beneficiaries," alleged Sasikant Mohanty, a ward member.
Responding to the allegations, food supplies officer of Tangi block, Bibekananda Sahoo assured that ‘whoever is found guilty, his/her dealership will be cancelled’.