Chennai: The civil supplies and consumer protection (CSCP) department has informed the Madras high court that in order to curb the diversion of the essential commodities from the fair price shops, a tender process has already been floated to install biometric finger print reader in all the fair price shops. After installing the biometric finger print reader, anyone of the family members of the card must validate their finger print in finger print reader device to buy the essential commodities from the fair price shops.
The commissioner, CSCP department, has stated this in his report sent to the state government for perusal. A copy of the report was produced before Justice D. Krishnakumar.
While hearing a petition from a dismissed employee of a ration shop, Justice Krishnakumar had on December 20, 2018 directed the registrar of co-operative societies to submit a proposal for providing CCTV cameras in all fair price shops after consulting the commissioner of civil supplies department and submit a report to the government.
In his present order, the judge said pursuant to the earlier order, the commissioner of CSCP department by his communication dated January 31, 2019, to the principal secretary to government, corporation, food and consumer protection (CDCP) department stated that the MD, Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation Limited, has sent a proposal to install CCTV cameras in all 1,455 Fair price shops run by the corporation in 26 districts. By letter dated January 8, 2019, the Registrar of co-operative societies sent a communication to the principal secretary to government, CFCP department, in connection with the directions issued by this court. In the said communication, the registrar has enumerated in detail the functioning of the fair price shops in the state. It was stated that there were 34,880 fair price shops in the state. In order to curtail irregularities in fair price shops, smart card has been issued to family card holders and commodities were distributed by preparing bills through POS machines. It was further stated that by using the methodology viz., smart card/POS machines and biometric reader in the distribution of essential commodities to all card holders, major irregularities will definitely be curtailed in all fair price shops in the state, the judge added.
The judge said it was specifically pointed out that CCTVs may be installed in full time shops having 1,500 cards and for the fair price shops where mini co-operative super market were functioning. Installation of CCTV in said shops were essential since the transactions were more and the commodities kept for sale was also more. A committee consists of cooperative department officials may be formed and based on the recommendations of the committee installation of CCTV in the said shops may be carried out in a phased manner between 2019-2010 and 2020-2021. The commissioner, CSCP department has further taken note of the proposal sent by the registrar of cooperative societies and given the remarks for the perusal of the government, the judge added.
The report of the commissioner stated that the registrar of cooperative societies has sent a proposal to government stating that CCTV cameras may be installed in 314 fair price shops, having more than 1500 cards and 102 fair price shops attached with Amma Mini Cooperative Supermarket. The estimated expenditure for 416 shops was Rs 5.94 crore. Under the scheme of end-to-end computerization of public distribution system, point of sale devices have been installed in all the fair price shops. Smart family cards have also been issued to card holders. All transactions were made through the POS devices based on smart family cards. The sale of commodities have intimated to the card holders through SMS to the registered mobile numbers. Diversion of commodities may not be possible. In Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation Lorry tracking system (GPS) has been installed in godowns to track the route of PDS commodities loaded lorry from the godown to the fair price shops; The route map of the loaded vehicles have been monitored by the concerned officials on regular basis. Hence, there was no possibility to divert the essential commodities, the report added.
Recording the report of the commissioner, CSCP department, the judge posted the matter to March 11 for reporting compliance....