No PDS ration from April 1 without Aadhaar linkage
Over 2 lakh persons in Pithoragarh district and 189,760 in Champawat district will not get ration under the Public Distribution System (PDS) from April 1 as the state government has decided not to supply ration to those who haven’t linked their ration cards with their Aadhaar numbers till March 31.
Manoj Kumar Burman, district food and supplies officer, says only 60 per cent of the beneficiaries have linked their ration cards with their Aadhaar numbers so far. “We are complying with the recent order of the Food and Supply Secretary that says the beneficiaries failing to link their ration cards with their Aadhaar numbers will not be entitled to PDS ration from April 1,” he says.
In Champawat district, only 69 per cent of the beneficiaries have followed the government order.
Shyam Arya, District Food and Supplies Officer, Champawat, says, “Of 275,719 beneficiaries, 1,89,760 will not get PDS ration from April 1. They are yet to link their ration cards with their Aadhaar numbers”.
Burman says of 5,20,621 beneficiaries in the district, only 3,15,578 have followed the government order.
Most of the people, who will be deprived of PDS ration, do not have Aadhaar cards. Some people have Aadhaar cards but could not get these linked with ration cards, as there is no proper facility for it in the district. “If anyone goes to the District Food and Supplies Officer’s office for such works, he or she hardly finds the staff. Besides, the staff raise objections over petty issues and don’t help people in getting their works done,” says Ram Singh, a resident of Jhuri Malan village.
Sources say 20 per cent of the beneficiaries, mostly in remote villages, are yet to apply for Aadhaar cards and over 35 per cent of the beneficiaries are running from pillar to post to get their ration cards linked with Aadhaar cards.
People say the state government didn’t run a campaign in remote villages for Aadhaar enrollment. “Some people have followed the government order but others, especially people with disabilities, elderly and widows, will be forced to bear the brunt as they either don’t have Aadhaar cards or have failed to get these linked with ration cards,” says Surendra Khatri, a local journalist.