By R Lester Makang
UKHRUL, January 5: In yet another instance of negligence of the Consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (CAF & PD) Ukhrul division, the department has allegedly failed to issue two months’ quota of allocated food grains to the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) Rationing Agencies of the district, apart from allowing to lapse another two months’ entitlement of items under the scheme earlier last year.
Disclosing this to media persons at a press conference in Ukhrul on Saturday, Samuel Shaiza, president Ukhrul-44 AC- TPDS Agents’ Association, said that even though they have already made necessary deposits for November and December 2013 two months back, they have till date not received the release order of food grains for the said two months from the CAF & PD, Ukhrul Division.
“This happens despite the fact that all the agents routinely comply with the departmental directive to make deposit one month in advance of the issue date and to make two months deposit for every release of food grains,” he said
Shaiza further said that due to the negligence of the department, another two months entitlement of food grains under TPDS had been allowed to lapse in 2013 and the CAF & PD had asked the district agents not to pay deposit for those two months without any explanation thereby depriving the impoverished families of their food grains in the said period.
Stating that they are bearing the brunt of frequent delay in issue of food grains, jt secretary, N Isaac has said that due to the constant failure of the department to release food grains on the stipulated date/day, they have incurred a huge loss through paying charges for vehicle hiring.
“Each one of us has to fork out an amount between Rs 700 and Rs 2500 depending on the type of vehicle we rent.”
Further questioning the motive of issuance of blank Utilization Certificate(UC), he said “ Why do they (CAF &PD) hand out the document and ask the agents to get the signature from the village headman/ secretary/SHGs etc. without filling in the same.”
Isaac also said that information regarding the exact quota of food grains allocated to any village/area of the district is never disclosed to the agents by the department for reason best known to themselves, while adding that they are not even allowed to weigh the quantity of the items at the time of release from the go-down.
“Considering the various grievances, We have even petitioned our DC for initiating of remedial measures but to no avail.”
Meanwhile, Isaac has said that the local MLA Samuel Risom has assured the association that the matter will be looked into.
“But in the event of the authority concerned failing to redress our grievances, we will have to resort to lodging an FIR against the department”, he warned.