Patna: To cut down leakage of subsidized foodgrains, the Bihar government is working on a plan wherein it would carry grains to the ration shops itself instead of dealers.
This would be done in hired vehicles fitted with public announcement system. The effort is aimed at checking diversion of subsidized foodgrains meant for the poor to open market.
The new "Doorstep delivery service" is expected to commence by August 15 this year, Bihar Food and Civil Supplies Minister Shyam Rajak said.
"Paper works are almost complete and tender work for hiring vehicles will start soon," the minister said. As per the plan, over 45,000 PDS dealers will no longer be allowed to fetch wheat and rice from 307 State Food Corporation godowns directly.
In its place, the state government will take vehicles on rent to transport grains to PDS shops, the minister said. "Mikes would be fitted atop these vehicles to make public announcement about arrival of foodgrains and also details of quantity," he said.
The minister said reports suggest that at least 15 percent of grains meant for BPL families fraudulently reach the open market. The state vigilance department has been looking into PDS leakage in several districts including in East Champaran and Khagaria, the minister said.
CCTV would be installed in the godowns to ensure that foodgrains are not diverted, he said adding the storehouses would also be provided with weighing machines for accurate measurement of wheat and rice sacks before lifting them.
He said though the Centre allots subsidised foodgrains to the state for around 65 lakh BPL families on the basis of Tendulkar Committee report, though according to the state government figures there are 1.45 crore BPL families.
While a BPL family gets 10 kg wheat and 15 kg rice every month in the state, families under Antoyodya Anna Yojna (AAY) scheme, numbering around 25,000, get 21 kg rice and 14 kg wheat.