KAUSHIK DUTTA, Midnapore: Even after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s warning that strong action will be taken against the PDS dealers if they do not distribute the food grains in proper way amid coronavirus lockdown, it is alleged that there are many anomalies among the PDS dealers distributing ration among people. And for that, almost every day, the district administration and food control department are getting numbers of complaint against the dealers.
The administrative officials told that as soon as they are getting such complaints and allegations against PDS dealers, they are taking necessary measures.
Already in East Midnapore district, the food supply and control department has suspended two PDS dealers and showcause notice has been served to eight dealers. In Bankura district, the ration shop in Indus area has been sealed and the department has started an inquiry against the dealer after the allegation that he gives less than the said quota came to the notice.
In West Midnapore, one PDS dealer has been arrested after the allegation that he was not distributing the food grains to ration card holders of Goaltore area came to the limelight.
Recently, Mamata Banerjee made a surprise visit to ration shops in Bhawanipore in Kolkata after attending a meeting at Nabanna. There, she interacted with dealers and also announced that no one should go hungry in the state at this time of crisis. “I am telling you all that no one must procure ration items and distribute them among masses in the name of relief. Every consumer must get their share of rice and other materials from the ration shops. I have already changed the food secretary. If I get anymore complaints then I will take immediate steps,” Mamata said at Nabanna.
But it is alleged that many PDS dealers are distributing less amount and low quality food grains in some places. On Saturday, senior left leaders like Biman Bose, Suryakanta Mishra, Sujan Chakraborty and Mohammed Salim staged a demonstration at Red Road in protest against the black marketing of food grains.
In West Midnapore, Sujay Ghosh, a PDS dealer in Metala village in Goaltore has been arrested after the BDO of the area lodged an FIR against him. An inquiry was conducted after the BDO received a complaint that the dealer denied to give food grains to eligible ration card holders.
At Haripur village under Indus area of Bankura district, the ration shop of a dealer is sealed after some irregularities and malpractice were found against the dealer. “We have sealed the ration shop and asked the block food inspector to submit a report after proper investigation. Steps will be taken after receiving the report,” said Debojyoti Talukdar, the sub-divisional food controller of Bishnupur.
In East Midnapore, the Food Supply and Control department has suspended two PDS dealers after the dealers in Panskura and Moyna area were found guilty. “We have suspended two PDS dealers in the district and served showcause notice to eight dealers,” said Saikat Chakraborty, district food supply and food controller, East Midnapore.
But the MR Dealers Association in the district raised questions. “We are distributing food grains while taking risks. However, without looking into the allegations, the department is suspending and serving showcause notice to PDS dealers,” said Madhab Panja, secretary of the association, East Midnapore.