HYDERABAD: The Telangana state was formed 43 months ago but food security cards have yet to be issued to beneficiaries of the public distribution system. In line with National Food Security Act, the TS government had decided to issue food security cards in the place of old ration cards. At an expense of Rs 3 crores, the cards were printed and poised for distribution, when the government decided to add 21 new districts. This was in October 2016, and the cards that were printed already with the old districts became null and void. Since then no efforts have been made to print new cards.
In May 2016, the state government had announced its decision of creating new districts in October, after Dasara. But the civil supplies department, without taking cognisance of the statement, went ahead and printed the cards in June 2016 with all the old districts without realising that once the new districts were announced, these cards would not be valid.
Orders were placed to print over 80 lakh ration cards. The printing of cards started in June 2016 and by the time IPS officer Mr C.V. Anand took charge as commissioner of civil supplies in August 2016, the printing of cards for 4 out of 10 old districts were already completed at a cost of Rs 3 crore.
Mr Anand acted swiftly and stopped the printing of cards for the remaining 6 districts and saved nearly Rs 6 crore.
After the new districts were formed, efforts were again made to print the new cards.
But, once again, the printing of cards was halted. The government has now decided to print new cards without any pictures of CM or ministers. Only logos of Centre and state government will be printed.
Mr Anand said, “At present, e-PoS system is being extended to all the ration shops in the districts to check irregularities. The biometric system launched in Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts earlier proved to be a success. Only genuine beneficiaries can claim ration by giving their fingerprints and fake beneficiaries will be eliminated.. Based on this, we will print new food security cards and distribute to all the beneficiaries, which may take two or three months.”...