JORABAT, Aug 21 - Inadequate supply of goods to the Public Distribution System (PDS) shops this month has become a matter of great concern for the inhabitants of Khetri. This is not the first time the residents here are facing a shortage of essential goods in PDS shops. In the past also, a similar shortage of goods in PDS shops forced the locals to buy items from general shops at higher prices.
According to sources, the short supply of PDS goods is a result of the inability of M/s Barkhat Panbari GPSS of Sonapur to handle the extra burden put on them to manage the needs of the 32 agents of the Khetri area, following the suspension of licence of M/s Dimoria GPSS of Khetri in 2016. These 32 agents were entitled to get PDS commodities from M/s Dimoria GPSS for the beneficiaries but later attached to M/S Barkhat Panbari GPSS, after the suspension of licence.
On two more occasions in the recent past, M/s Barkhat Panbari GPSS had failed to deliver goods to the 32 agents of the Khetri area even after full payment for the commodities.
Irked by the inadequate supply of PDS commodities in the area in this month and also in the past, the ration card holders in particular and the aggrieved people of the locality, in general, have staged a protest at Khetri, shouting slogans against Dispur for its failure to keep the PDS smooth in this area.
PDS beneficiaries here alleged that political pressure is one of the main reasons behind the suspension of M/s Dimoria GPSS' licence. It was in July 2016, the secretary of M/s Dimoria GPSS received a show-cause notice regarding alleged irregularities in the distribution of wheat bran.
M/s Dimoria GPSS president Jadhav Baishya alleged that all the supporting pieces of evidence were produced by us before the official concerned to challenge such allegations but it didn't serve any purpose.
Following the suspension of licence, all the 32 agents under M/s Dimoria GPSS were asked to bring PDS goods from M/s Barkhat Panbari GPSS in Sonapur, putting an extra burden on the agents, he added.
Baishya further stated that the office bearers of M/s Dimoria GPSS approached the court, appealing it to lift the suspension order. The court directed the Commissioner, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs to dispose of the appeal in accordance with law, within the period of three weeks but allegedly no action was taken in that regard till date, he said.
A woman daily wage earner and a PDS beneficiary said, "I work in a canteen and earn just Rs 150 a day. How can we sustain if the supply of PDS goods is so erratic?"
Another beneficiary who has not received PDS goods for the last three months said such an erratic supply of PDS goods started after the BJP government came to power in the State.
The local people urged the government to lift the suspension and take action against the persons who are trying to reap benefits unscrupulously through the PDS.