PATNA: Believe it or not, but a family in Vaishali has 68 members. Not only that. The family members follow two different religions, if their ration card for distribution of foodgrains through fair price shop is to be believed.
Suspecting anomaly in the distribution of ration through PDS shops under ‘one nation, one ration card’ scheme, Mahua SDO Sandeep Kumar has directed Chehrakalan block development officer (BDO) Kumud Ranjan to conduct a through investigation and lodge an FIR against PDS dealer Sanjay Kumar.
“I have directed the BDO concerned to lodge an FIR against the dealer for committing fraud and ensure recovery of the foodgrains at the earliest,” Kumar told this newspaper over phone.
The matter came to light during scrutiny of foodgrains distribution among the ration card holders in different blocks in the district recently.
The officials were stunned to know that over 38 quintals of foodgrains were given to a particular family headed by one Jubaida Khatoon with Umesh Paswan and Navin Kumar as other members.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the PDS dealer submitted the list of 68 beneficiaries of a family for free foodgrains and also at subsidized rates. Each family member on a ration card is entitled to get 5kg of wheat or rice per month.
However, the ration card holders were given free foodgrains for six months during the nationwide lockdown to prevent spread of the Covid19 pandemic. One kg of gram was also provided to the card holders free of cost.
When contacted, the BDO said a show-cause notice has been issued against the dealer.
Earlier, the licence of a PDS dealer was cancelled under Marhaura block in Saran district for committing irregularities in the distribution of foodgrains to the ration cardholders.
The SDO clarified that the ration card was issued from Marhaura in Saran district and they availed foodgrains from a PDS shop under Chehrakalan block under ‘one nation, one ration card’ policy.
Bihar is the first state in the country to adopt ‘one nation, one ration card’ policy of the central government. Former union minister late Ram Vilas Paswan had played a significant role in the implementation of the scheme for convenience of the ration cardholders.
Authoritative sources said 8.71 crore people, including 25 lakh families under Antyodaya Anna Yojana, were covered in the state under the National Food Security Act, 2013. Moreover, 23.39 lakh new ration card beneficiaries were added to the state after the outbreak of Covid pandemic.