Delhi govt plans to relocate non-PDS foodgrains from schools to fair price shops


The Food and Civil Supply department of the Delhi government is planning to shift foodgrain distribution centres for non-ration card beneficiaries from government schools to fair price shops where only ration card holders are being given foodgrains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

Officials privy to the development said the plan to relocate foodgrain distribution centres is being prepared keeping in mind that schools where foodgrains are stored could be shifted to some other place once the schools start reopening in Delhi.

According to the officials, the Delhi government has setup food grain distribution centres for non-PSD holders (those not having ration cards/migrants) in 282 schools, one distribution centre in each municipal ward in Delhi. There are as many as 270 municipal wards in the national capital.

“The relocation of foodgrain distribution centres from schools to fair price shops is a part of advance preparation by the department considering that once the schools reopened then these foodgrain storages may have to be shifted from schools premises to some other places. And therefore, there is a plan that non-PDS beneficiaries would also be distributed foodgrains at existing fare price shops. However, people not having ration cards would continue to receive foodgrains at schools, until the schools are open in Delhi,” said a senior official in the food and civil supply department on the condition of anonymity.

The officials told IANS that with relocation of distribution centres, some changes would have to be introduced in the distribution system as well. “At present, non-PDS beneficiaries are availing benefit of free foodgrains by producing Aadhaar card or some other identity card, but if it is shifted to the fair price ration shops, then a QR system will have to be introduced to maintain transparency in the allocation of food grains,” the official added.

There are around 2,000 fair price ration shops located across the national capital where foodgrains are being provided to those having ration cards at minimal prices under the National Food Security Act.

Under the non-PDS system, the Delhi government provides 5 kg of foodgrains (4 kg wheat and 1 kg rice) per person, free of cost. The list of beneficiaries includes unorganised workers, migrant workers, building and construction workers, and domestic helps.

The non-PDS ration is being distributed from designated schools from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on all days except Sunday. Each identified school provides a login ID and password for entering the stock received in the system for proper record keeping and for the purpose of registration at the site and distribution.

The scheme to provide free rations under non-PDS was announced by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on May 18 this year to provide foodgrains to those not have ration cards during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Delhi government is providing free rations (foodgrains) under non-PDS to around 20 lakh beneficiaries per month from June this year.