72L people in Delhi not getting ration sanctioned by Centre for two months: BJP leader

Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, has alleged a big scam in ration supply by the Arvind Kejriwal government, claiming that 72.78 lakh ration card holders in Delhi have not been getting ration for two months.

“The Narendra Modi government at the Centre has sanctioned ration for the poor people of Delhi under the Food Security Act and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Anna Kalyan Yojana, but due to the scam of the Delhi government, that ration could not reach the shopkeepers. Even the lakhs of migrant labourers in Delhi, who are registered in other states under the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme, did not get 2 lakh quintals of wheat and rice,” Bidhuri alleged.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor on Thursday alleged that the Kejriwal government’s callousness in making transport arrangements is responsible for ration not reaching the poor people for months on end. The Kejriwal government owes an explanation to the poor about why they have created problems with unavailability of trucks for lifting the rations.

Bidhuri added that in January 2020, tenders were invited from transporters to deliver ration to ration shops on behalf of the Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation. Tenders were to be given to 16 transporters out of which 15 transporters were awarded the work but one transporter, Bansal Transport Company was not awarded the tender as it did not have CNG trucks as per the terms of the tender. After not getting the tender, Bansal Transport Company moved the Delhi High Court. Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti advocated its case in the court. The court in its decision on January 10, 2020 also refused to give any relief in this matter to the company due to not having CNG trucks.

Bidhuri said that on January 10, 2020, the Delhi government also gave an affidavit in the court that only CNG trucks would be given contracts to supply ration. That is why the court did not allow Bansal Transport Company’s plea. But due to inside connivance, this party was given the contract through the back door despite having diesel trucks, which is continuing till date, while the contract of the remaining 15 transporters ended in December itself.

Due to the expiry of the validity of the tender, the Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation took out the tender again in July 2022, but cleverly, with the intention of entering diesel trucks in the terms of the tender, along with CNG, BS-IV trucks were also written in it. This simply means that the transporters having diesel trucks could also bid for this tender. Clearly this condition was added to the tender to benefit Bansal Transport Company, he said.

Bidhuri stated that with the intention of awarding the tender to Bansal Transport Company only, another condition was added to the tender that only those transporters who have vehicles bigger than 10 tons can fill this tender. All CNG vehicles in Delhi range from 6.5 tons to 10 tons. Vehicles bigger than 10 tons are not registered in Delhi at all. The condition of vehicles bigger than 10 tons was imposed only so that Bansal Transport Company could benefit, because Bansal has all such type of trucks, he added.

Due to this condition, those transporters who were supplying ration through their CNG vehicles after the first tender were automatically left out.

Surprisingly, Bansal Transport Company has got some vehicles from 24 tons to 30 tons registered in Delhi between 2018 and 2020, which is illegal. As per NGT rules, there is a ban on registration of diesel commercial vehicles in Delhi. It is a matter of investigation on how the diesel vehicles of Bansal got registered, he said.

The Leader of the Opposition said that the 15 transporters who were supplying ration after the first tender, approached the High Court in August 2022 regarding this matter. The High Court, while hearing the petition on August 8, 2022, stayed the process of awarding the tender till the next hearing. The next hearing in this matter is to be held on January 4, but the interesting thing is that the previous work order of Bansal & Co. has been extended and now once again it has got the job of supplying ration in 2023 as well. He is still supplying ration in some trans Yamuna areas but the supply of ration in the rest of Delhi has stopped due to this dispute.

Bidhuri said that this scam is destroying the claim of the Delhi government of being scrupulously honest and it shows how autocratic the working of this government is, throwing all the rules aside.

Bidhuri requested the Lieutenant Governor to intervene in this matter. He said that until the decision of the High Court comes in this matter, the Delhi government should arrange the delivery of ration from the godowns to the ration shops through private transporters having CNG trucks, so that the supply of ration to more than 72 lakh people of Delhi can continue.

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