Locals lock up civic office; demand ration cards

Bhadrak: Tension ran high at the municipality office here today when irate locals, who have been excluded from the ration card list, locked up the office gate and staged a protest in front of it.

They met together while TLC meeting was on under the chairmanship of Bhadrak MLA Jugal Patnaik in the presence of the municipality chairperson, sub-collector and some councillors.

The officials and the representatives had to remain indoors for quite some time as the mob opposed the meeting and demanded inclusion of the poor in the beneficiary list. However, they relented after police intervention.

“The people, who have pucca houses, have availed the card. But we are struggling for the same even though we are living under thatched roof. When we went to the dealer to inquire, he told us that our name has been excluded from the list,” said Seikh Abbu, a complainant.

On the other hand, civic officials said that people are not cooperating in the verification of beneficiaries.

“It has become very complicated to identify the real beneficiaries. People are not cooperating. When we make field visit for inquiry, many lock up their houses. How can we trace the real one? Anyway, we are trying to provide the card to deserving residents as per government guidelines”, Antaryami Panda, executive officer of Bhadrak Municiplaity, said.