August 2, 2017
Even after linking ration cards with mobile phone numbers, irregularities in Public Distribution System seem to continue as beneficiaries are receiving messages of purchases that they have not made.
Ravi (name changed) did not make a single visit to the PDS outlet in the last two months. “But I received messages giving details about the purchase made. I ignored it the first time. But again I have now received a message on the purchase of items that are actually not allowed to my card. It is quite intriguing,” he said.
Another customer who buys supplies from a different PDS outlet narrated a similar story. “The bill I received gave details of the items that were procured. It included palm oil too, that is not allowed for my card. When I checked with the officials, they said the message would have come to me by mistake,” he said.
Activist Manoj said many shop license holders were not aware about the message that is being sent after every purchase.
“Many continue to sell PDS items outside and they bill it in the customer’s name. Many are not aware that the customer receives an SMS immediately after a transaction is done. The situation may change if smart card comes is fully implemented,” he added.
However, a senior official of the Civil Supplies Department cited technical reasons behind the wrong messages.
“Sometimes the mobile numbers could have been wrongly registered, or the supplier might have entered a wrong number. The idea behind this is to make the system foolproof. However, if the customers have any doubts, then they should register a complaint with the department. We will take immediate action”, he said.