TURA, March 17 - The launch of the National Food Security (Act) cards in Garo Hills has been suspended by the Meghalaya Government following a furore over the exclusion of a good number of beneficiaries. The process of adding them is currently underway and the launch will be made only after inclusion of all such excluded beneficiries in the list, official sources said.
According to West Garo Hills district administration sources, the beneficiaries under NFS have been selected on the basis of the last Census in 2011 and the process of elimination was followed by the authorities. Elimination meant that people were given a questionnaire on their income as well as property and those that did not have any were given the card.
�It appears the process was to, more or less eliminate those that are genuine residents of the region and doubtful voters and residents are being given the cards without proper verification. How can villagers of Islampur under Phulbari be issued the cards when it is common knowledge that the residents there are mostly residents of Assam. We, however, have not got the cards despite being born here,� said a resident of Phulbari. Similar allegations have come from Chibinang area.
A resident of Tura said, �In our locality there are quite a few tenants that have got the NFS cards. Most of them are not residents of the State, but have come from Assam and West Bengal. On the other hand, the house owner is not on the list�, said the resident of Babupara locality in Tura.