In the absence of essential commodities like wheat, kerosene and other food grains that was largely made available earlier, the fair price shops in the city and vicinities turned completely into rice shops as complaints from poor people are suggesting that most of the agents are advertently avoiding grains meant for public distribution that too at a time of corona infested lockdown.
“Leave alone the extra supply of grain during the lockdown announced by the centre, we are not even getting essential supplies like wheat, no sugar, oil or kerosene through the ration shops which are also known as fair price shops. Ration shops became only rice shops with no supply of wheat, sugar and edible oil to the poor people unlike earlier. It is completely unjust to denote ‘Fair Price Shops’ as ‘Ration Shops’ since only rice is being supplied by the government in the name of subsidised ration. At a time when people can’t move out of houses to get essential commodities due to lockdown, the ration shops in concerned areas are supplying only rice in the name of ration,” bemoaned Mohammed Shoeb of Hussaini Alam.
“We are getting only rice from the FP shops as wheat and kerosene are completely out of reach. Often we find the quality of rice is not even good. When asked about not supplying wheat, the FP agent said that due to low quality they are not purchasing the grain while out rightly denying of having kerosene supply. Moreover, the agents are even pressing to buy other commodities not less than an amount of Rs.200. More surprisingly, we haven’t heard of people receiving extra supply of food grain during the lockdown being announced by the centre,” rued A.Srinivas resident of Gagan Pahad under Rangareddy District.
However, when contacted, the Assistant Civil Supply Officer Circle No.3, Saroornagar, Rangareddy District Bala Saroja said, “Except rice no other commodity like wheat and sugar have been in the supply list in the state since inception. Only rice is being supplied to FPSs thereby to the card holders. In some areas two kilo wheat along with rice is being supplied as per the demand and eating habits of the concerned people. However, many agents are avoiding the wheat saying they are incurring loss due to less sale of the commodity. We have already warned those agents forcing the people to buy non-required commodities and will ask them to provide wheat if it is in demand.”
“As far as the extra supply of ration announced by the central government is concerned, we are only learning this through media but no official communication has yet passed to us,” she further said, adding that “We would be able to make arrangements accordingly only after receiving the proper instructions.”