Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ration card debacle in Krishnagiri District

Recently there was an article in Hindu mentioning the stoppage of food items to 39,193 ration cards in Krishnagiri district, as they were found bogus after a door to door verification. Hats off to the collector Mr. V.K. Shanmugam for his efforts. He has also stopped the issue of 8260 ration cards, which were found to be bogus. This is a good start. He should move further and find out who was responsible in issuing these falsified ration cards and take severe action against them. People in government offices take bribe to issue incorrect documents which becomes a burden to the society which in turn drains the resources which should go to the rightful person. Some government officials go an extra mile to issue a bogus ration card, whereas an ordinary citizen applying for his family ration card undergoes tremendous difficulties and yet cannot get his rightful document for years.
One such incident is worth mentioning here.
Mr. Shankar, from Chennai lost his ration card in 2004, and applied for a new card at Royapuram Taluk office. An official visited his residence after 2 months for an inquiry, and left saying to come and visit the office after 2 months. Mr. Shankar visited the office many times after that during the past 5 years but was denied access to meet with higher officials. As of August 2009, some official from the Taluk office said that his application had been rejected and asked him to reapply. He watched our program in TV and approached our office and filed an RTI petition through our organization in September 2009. He received his ration card in 13 days. This just proves to show how effective the RTI act, can be used to obtain the basic necessities which otherwise becomes very tiresome due to some corrupt officials.