Shillong, Oct 31: Reacting to Meghalaya Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Dr RC Lalooâ€™s claim of the state lifting its PDS quota for the last six months and distributing it among the AP, BPL and AAY families, Civil Society Womenâ€™s Organization (CSWO) Wednesday said, â€œThere are many cases filed against the dealers who have deprived the people of their quota of Rice and action is not taken yet in most cases by the Administration.â€
Lambasting the Minister for allegedly making a false statement during the conference of Food Ministers in New Delhi, CSWO President Agnes Kharshiing said, â€œSo stating in New Delhi that all the beneficiaries are receiving PDS is false, and there is a rise in such violations of the Supreme Court Order. The PDS is lifted no doubt but diverted to the pockets of the few in Power.â€
Listing out some of the numerous cases anomaly in PDS in Khasi â€“ Hills of Meghalaya, she highlighted that in Wahlakhiat a dealer who had siphoned off 2 months quota was still given the permission to be the dealer which is against the Essential Commodities Act.
In Klew Village, Ri Bhoi District, the Headman deprived the villagers of Upper Klew of their quota and even names of the dead reflected in the BPL list yet no action has been taken as yet against the person in spite of the Police report submitted to the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Ri Bhoi District.
In Mynsain, Ri Bhoi District a complaint lies where villagers were deprived of their quota for 10 years and yet the administration of Ri Bhoi was instead, investigating as to who contacted and informed the CSWO.
In Thieddieng village, falling under the Mawsynram Block the people were also deprived of their PDS and an FIR was filed which is charge sheeted by the Police but the file is lying somewhere in the Courts.
In Nongkwai, falling under Pynnursla Block, about 70 families are deprived of their Right to food. The Office of the Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills District, has appointed an unknown dealer who is a politically linked man, and the peopleâ€™s choice was ignored. When the people wrote to the DC their letter seems to bear no meaning as he never responded to them. They have not got their quota, now for almost two years.
In Madanryting, Mylliem Block most of the names of the BPL card holders are people owning big houses, while the poor do not get Ration at all.
She observed that the Gram Sevaks and inspectors are drawing their pay but not at all checking on these anomalies and no action is being taken against them. Many beneficiaries in West Khasi Hills and other Parts of the state are also suffering and are also made to, at times, take 2 kg of bad rice mixed with good rice, he claimed.
Kharshiing further pointed out that the APL cards are not distributed to the people and most of the quota disappears.
â€œIn Ri Bhoi District most APL cards are getting only 10 kg per family while the amount should be 35 kg per family,â€ she said adding â€œMany Dealers distribute the PDS within 2 or 3 days or maximum in a week and the poor families who cannot lift the PDS within that time lose out on their quota, and this is in violation of the Supreme Court Orderâ€.
She stated that the CSWO will take all these issues up with the Chief Secretary and if there is no response then the Organization threatened to report to the Supreme Court Commissioners who have been appointed by the Supreme Court to monitor the implementation of the PDS.