Ration scam in UP: Dealers, officers loot ration worth lakhs of rupees by fudging Aadhaar details

According to the available information, corruption in the PDS is rampant in 40 districts of Uttar Pradesh. The investigation has revealed the collusion of the entire supplies department in this

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media

Aas Mohd Kaif

In Uttar Pradesh a scam in the ration scheme has been exposed once again. By fudging the Aadhaar details, lakhs of poor people were deprived of their ration in almost half of the districts in the state. Many arrests have been made in this matter. Some officials and employees have also been suspended.

Last month on September 16, Uttar Pradesh STF arrested three persons. The ration scam was uncovered by these arrests. Investigation revealed that in Muzaffarnagar district alone, ration supplies of about 20,000 people disappeared using just 64 Aadhaar cards. In Ghaziabad which is the constituency of the Food and Supplies Minister of Uttar Pradesh Atul Garg, a huge scam in ration supplies have been exposed.

According to the available information, corruption in ration scheme is rampant in 40 districts of the state. The food officer of Muzaffarnagar has been suspended in this matter. The investigation has revealed the collusion of the entire supplies department in this scam.

It was found in the investigation that Jitender Kumar, a ration dealer of Meerapur town of Muzaffarnagar, used to use his own Aadhaar number to draw ration of hundreds of beneficiaries within an hour. In order to do this, the same Aadhaar number was used but ration card number and ID number were changed. Using the same method, 98 ration dealers of Muzaffarnagar district took out the ration of about 20 thousand people. These figures are of the month of July only, if the accounts for the rest of the month are taken into account, then the number of beneficiaries who have been cheated may be much higher.

According to the data that has been revealed, the ration of 209 people was drawn using 2 Aadhaar cards in Gonda, of 27324 people using 108 Aadhaar cards in Meerut, of 16558 people in Ghaziabad using just 69 Aadhaar cards, of 16058 people in Noida using 36 Aadhaar cards, of 8837 people in Bijnor using 37 Aadhaar cards, of 6718 people in Moradabad using 83 Aadhaar, of 4794 people in Lucknow using 24 Aadhaar cards, of 2064 people in Varanasi using 13 Aadhaar cards and ration of 37574 people in Allahabad using just 107 cards was drawn. Besides this, irregularities in ration distribution in many other districts have also been revealed.

The supply department has estimated that there is a corruption of around ₹40 crore. Uttar Pradesh Food Secretary Alok Kumar said, "Strict action is being taken against such ration dealers and the officials involved in it. An FIR has been registered, more than one thousand quota have been cancelled. "

Sources in the Supply department say that the scam is much more than what has been revealed. It is worth mentioning here that there are more than 1.5 crore people who are beneficiaries of ration scheme in Uttar Pradesh, who get ration from PDS stores at cheap prices. It is feared that at least 50% of this ration has been illegally obtained by dealers and officers.

According to IG Amitabh Yash of STF, who is investigating the matter, this scam has been carried out by misusing the Aadhaar and e-pass machine of the PDS department. He said, "The user and password of the supply inspector and computer operator were being used for the scam." The question arises, how did the User ID and password of supply inspector reach the ration dealer?

Commenting on the scam, Samajwadi Party leader Chandan Mohan said, "On one hand, sick and disabled people are not being given rations without thumb impression, while dealers and officers are plundering the ration of lakhs of people."

After this scam emerged, cases have been filed against a large number of ration dealers in Uttar Pradesh. Unhappy with this action, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the All India Fair Shop Federation has appealed to go on an indefinite strike. Lalit Singh, President of the Aligarh unit of Federation says, “the officials have been allegedly involved in this corruption then why are the ration dealers being implicated?”

After the cancellation of several ration dealers’ licenses, many areas have been linked to each other which has resulted in more problems to the common people.

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