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News : PDS Complaints Get Social Media Route
New Delhi, Oct 28, 2014 -- The Food and Supply department has taken the social media route for encouraging Delhiites to expose loopholes, including pilferage, through sting operations in the public distribution system.
Prior to this measure, the department had launched two toll-free numbers for the people to lodge their grievances. A call centre has also been functioning for taking up PDS related complaints. The call centre functions from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm on six days from Monday to Saturday.
While the Facebook page has been primarily created to facilitate the PDS beneficiaries to register their grievances, the department has begun encouraging the people to carry out sting operations against fraud dealers and post the pictures and videos following which action would be taken.
"If you notice any irregularity or misbehaviour in any fair price shop (FPS) or ration office, please post photos, videos or details of the same so that we can take action. Instances of foodgrain diversion should also be brought to our notice immediately on this page," the page says.
The Facebook page, which was started on October 2 this year, has already registered nearly 3,000 complaints regarding irregularities in the public distribution system.
"More than 5,300 visitors have accessed the page so far and nearly 3,000 people have complained in the last three weeks. People have been advised to highlight cases like siphoning off ration supplies or people being cheated on the quantity or if the quality is not up to the mark," a senior Delhi government official said.
The official added that the people had largely brought to their notice cases related to delivery of ration cards and closed fair price shops.
"One of the most common complaints is about closed ration shops. People can now post pictures of a FPS closed during business hours. Other irregularities including those related to cleanliness can also be posted on the page," the official said.
Several lakhs of families are covered by the PDS through the 2,600 operational fair price shops in the city. The number of such families has gone up manifold following the implementation of the Food Security Scheme. Nearly 72 lakh people are being covered under this scheme.
Besides the online vigilance, the Food and Supply department has also launched a special drive against the hoarders in the ongoing festive season. "During the festive season, we are ensuring that unscrupulous elements do not take advantage of the situation for pocketing unlawful gains. We have constituted 20 teams to conduct raids to check hoarding and black marketing of essential commodities," the official said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, October 29, 2014