The State Energy minister Dr. Nitin Raut has urged the Chief Minister Uddhav Thakarey to provide ration through Public Distribution System (PDS) to the starving persons who do not possess any kind of ration cards and are not covered under National Food Security Act 2013 (NFSA) during the lockdown period.
In a letter sent to the Chief Minister on Thursday, Dr Raut pointed out that there are thousands of people residing in slums who do not have ration cards. They are mostly industrial workers, labourers, cycle richshaw pullers, autorickshaw drivers, sanitory workers, scavengers, homeless persons living on footpath, orphans, brickyard workers, construction workers, boot polishers, porters, hamal, coolie, sugarcane labourers, etc. They have been ruined due to lockdown as they have lost their employment. As they are living hand to mouth are now starving. As they do not have any type of ration card they are not covered under National Food Security Act 2013.
Hence, it is a desparate situation for them which needs to be addressed at the earliest. So he urges the Chief Minister to make necessary changes in the State policy to cover them under National Food Security Act 2013 with immediate effect.
The beneficiaries covered under this act are provided food security under PDS. They belong to the weaker sections of society including below poverty line, above poverty line and other economically weaker sections.
It is to be mentioned here that following the lockdown due to Covid-19, the state government has made several arrangements to provide food supplies to the weaker sections of the society who are in possession of various ration cards including Tricolour Ration Card, Yellow, Saffron, White Ration Card and Priority House Hold Cards.They will be provided ration for a period of three months through the PDS.
Those do not have any kind of ration cards are not rightly covered under the act. They cannot be provided food through the PDS. To save them from hunger and starvation, Dr Raut has further demanded the Chief Minister to allow MLAs to spend Rs 25 lakh from MLA fund to provide them food at the earliest.
He has further demanded the Chief Minister to instruct the cable TV operators not to disconnect the cable on failure of monthly payments from the subscribers which should be collected after a period of one month.