BONGAIGAON, June 11 � Above Poverty Line (APL) card holder beneficiaries are being deprived of additional quota of rice allegedly due to rampant corruption in the Food and Civil Supplies department in Bongaigaon district.
The government had allocated this additional quota of the APL rice from February this year for the beneficiaries and accordingly extra quantity of rice, apart from the normal quota, is being supplied in the district regularly.
As per norms, under the Public Distribution System, the normal quantity of APL rice is 4300 grams and the additional quota is 3700 grams against each beneficiary. So, a beneficiary must get at least 8 kgs of APL rice per card.
But APL beneficiaries in Bongaigaon subdivision and district are getting maximum 5 kgs of APL rice from their fair price shops in a month at the rate of Rs 11 per kg instead of the government rate of Rs 8.80 per kg. The dealers say that the increased rate includes carrying charge of the rice which is very less compared to the present surge in transportation costs.
The total number of co-operatives in Bongaigaon subdivision is 10 and the total APL beneficiaries in the town area is 4600 against 107 dealers. The total number of dealers in the subdivision is 328.
As per official sources, the Bongaigaon Cooperative has lifted 792 quintals of APL rice every month since February this year excluding the normal quota. A total of 3168 quintals of additional APL rice had been lifted in the past four months for the beneficiaries in the town area only. This quantity would be more if Gram Panchayats are included.
So, the huge quantity of additional quota of APL rice has been allegedly pilfered by the dealers in nexus with some officials of the district Food and Civil Supply Department and the co-operative, alleged the deprived beneficiaries.
But most of the dealers alleged that a particular dealer of Paglasthan in Bongaigaon town lifts this additional quota of APL rice and sells it in the black market under the patronage of the head official of the district Food and Civil Supply department.
Jayanta Kumar Das, an APL beneficiary of Deuripara in Bongaigaon, said that he has been getting only 5 kgs of APL rice per month. Rabi Ray, another beneficiary of Heujpara in Bongaigaon, said, �I am getting only 5 kgs of APL rice at the rate of Rs 11 per kg�. �I did not hear about the additional quota of APL rice, I am getting only 3700 grams of APL rice from my dealer�, said Phuleswar Singha, a resident of Deuripara.
The beneficiaries in Bongaigaon town area alleged that they were not given the additional quota of APL rice by their dealers.
When this correspondent reached the district Food and Civil Supply office to take a reaction from the Superintendent HK Prasad in this connection, he was not available in the office.