Friday, April 07, 2017

Activists allege large-scale violations in Delhi ration shops

Hindu Business Line‎‎: New Delhi: Friday, April 07, 2017.
There are flagrant violations in the function of ration shops and the failure of the Delhi government to put in place the requisite grievance redress and accountability measures in place as per the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyaan has alleged.
The rightist organisation, which held a dharna in Delhi on Thursday, demanded that a high-powered committee be constituted under the Chief Minister and with participation of civil society for ongoing monitoring of the functioning of NFSA in Capital.
On the basis of a physical audit of 221 shops (about 10 per cent of the total ration shops in Delhi) in 14 circles located in eight districts, and on the basis of information obtained under the RTI Act, a report by the organisation found that the Aam Aadmi party-led Delhi government had not constituted the State Food Commission, as per the provisions of the NFSA to hear and redress complaints.
“As part of the assessment, 1,200 complaints filed were tracked. It was found that not a single complaint was redressed by way of a written order within the stipulated time-frame as prescribed by the Delhi government,” it said in a release.
Also, over 60 per cent ration shops were closed on a working day and during working hours, which is illegal and grounds for revocation of the license, it said, adding that several shops were also found to be illegally selling atta (wheat flour).
The assessment also found that even in shops where Aadhaar- enabled delivery of ration was mandatory through use of Point of Sale (PoS) devices, “the same types of violations were present.’
“Despite the pilot not being successful, more than 50 per cent of the 42 shops where the pilot was started, stopped using the PoS, and the use of these machines were leading to large scale exclusions,” said the release.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Food Minister, Imran Hussain, met the activists and agreed to look into their demand for action against all shopkeepers mentioned in the report found to be violating the law after due process of inquiry, as also departmental action against the officials responsible for monitoring these ration shops for dereliction of duty.