October 19, 2016
Chennai: Complaints about ration shops can now be made on Facebook and Twitter with the State Public Distribution System (PDS) going hi-tech and allowing people to lodge their complaints online through the social media platforms.
Customers can post on the Facebook and Twitter PDS page—tnepds—about the problems in ration shops. Though the government spends Rs 5,500 crore every year on ration supplies, a majority of the people generally do not purchase provisions from PDS shops. This gives room for foul play among those involved in the distribution of these goods, with reports of free rice, sugar and dhal being sold illegally by salespersons to private shops.
A PDS department official said that since not many people telephoned to raise complaints, this seemed a more viable option. “Facebook and Twitter are being used widely these days and hence we came up with this effort to serve people better,” said the official. Through FB and Twitter pages, customers can post a picture of the lack of supplies or bad quality of provisions and the department will take necessary action.
Customers can also make suggestions on how to improve the functioning of PDS shops, through the social media platform.
The PDS Department has also implemented a scheme where is the customer gets a notification via SMS to their registered mobile number on every purchase, effective from October 1.
The list of the items bought will be entered into the point of sale (POS) device installed in PDS shops, after which an SMS with all the details of purchase will get generated to the customer’s registered mobile number. POS devices will be installed in all 1,815 shops run by the women self-help groups, Civil Supplies Department and co-operatives.
All the staff of the department, right from the district supply officers, taluk supply officers to salesmen have been trained for this.