Depot holders twist rules to cheat beneficiaries
Depot holders in Bathinda are supplying loose and adulterated wheat to the beneficiaries of the Atta-Dal scheme and are also asking them to cough up extra charges for gunny bags, thereby openly flouting regulations.
Beneficiaries, who fail to furnish their Aadhaar cards, are also being denied the supply.
Although the government has clearly laid down the rule that it is sufficient to furnish blue cards and ration cards to collect their share of wheat from the depots, the depots holders insist on seeing the Aadhaar card of every single family member before releasing the supply. If they fail to do so, the depot holders hold on to that share.
Sources in the District Food and Civil Supplies Department said that several depot holders claim to have supplied wheat to all the families even while they had left some members out.
Sources in the department said that the department had prepared packs of 30 kg wheat, but was directed to distribute 50 kg wheat to every beneficiary.
Twisting the orders of distributing the 20 kg loose wheat to the beneficiaries, the depot holders have started giving the entire 50 kg wheat in loose condition.
The depot holders are also defying rules by giving loose wheat to the beneficiaries rather them giving a sealed gunny bag. This not only leaves them with the gunny bags that may be sold as scrap, but also gives them an opportunity to mix good quality and rotten wheat.
Recently, beneficiaries had refused to collect wheat from the depots protesting against the rotten wheat which was being given to them.
When confronted about the flouting of rules, Gurlal, a depot holder in Janta Nagar, feigned ignorance about the rules and claimed that loose wheat was being weighed and distributed as the gunny bags were worn out.
He however, failed to furnish any torn or worn-out bag from a mound of gunny bags in the corner of the room.
One of the beneficiaries Raju said, “While we were told that distribution is to be done between 2 pm and 6 pm, the depot usually opens after 5 pm, thereby reducing the number of beneficiaries who could be covered daily. Two of my family members don’t have Aadhaar cards and hence, have failed to benefit from the scheme.”
Deputy Commissioner Dr Basant Garg agreed that it was a serious issue and assured that he would look into it.