This could be one good example for the glaring apathy shown by bureaucracy when it comes to implementing people friendly projects. More than one lakh beneficiaries who had applied for APL and BPL ration cards two years ago are yet to receive their cards. Having deprived the beneficiaries of their rightful claim for rations, officials of the Department of Food and Civil Supplies have now asked the beneficiaries to apply once again fresh in next month, stating the requirements to issue ration cards have been changed.
Though the new guidelines came into effect just two months ago, there are more than one lakh people waiting for over two years to receive their cards. With new rule of government the sufferers are the poor beneficiaries as they have to once again run from pillar to post to collect all the relevant documents and spend a couple of hundred rupees as well as time to submit the applications refresh.
Due to staff shortage, non completion of verification process by food inspectors, officials of the department could not complete the process of issuing ration cards from last two years. Assembly elections and other government / office related works has further delayed the process of issuing of ration card. Added to this, enrollment for fresh application forms have been stopped since May and new seekers are sent back.
Admitting delay in issuing cards, officials responded that a few beneficiaries have not provided proper documents, as such incomplete and incorrect applications have been rejected. But beneficiaries say if the officials needed additional details they could have communicated with applicant and would have issued ration cards after getting details, and thereby blamed officials stating they are simply evading their duties citing flimsy reasons.
Speaking to Express, some of the beneficiaries opined that applying again for ration card is waste of time. 'We are fed up with the process of inquiring with the officials to issue ration card and the lack of sensitivity they show and we have decided not to apply again.'
“The government should consider the application already submitted by beneficiaries under new system and issue ration cards. Or else it will be difficult for senior citizens to apply freshly standing in the long queues,' says 58-year-old Premamma.
“If the officials had done their duty properly we would have not suffered from last one and half years to get the ration cards. We were informed officials will visit for verification, but none visited. Applying freshly again is nothing but harassing consumers. There is need of adopting advanced technology to adopt people friendly initiatives,” opines housewife Kavyashree.
Food and Civil Supplies Department Deputy Director K Rameshwarappa said that they have informed orally not to enroll or issue ration cards until they receive further instructions from the Government as the new system is being introduced, under which just four yardsticks are enough to issue ration cards (earlier there were 14 requirements).
'Soon application will be invited under new system and within seven days cards will be dispatched through speed post and people need not wait for long time. The enrollment process might start from December,' he added.