Rayagada, Feb 5:
The Rayagada district administration is contemplating extension of biometric ration cards to all 11 blocks in the district. The move has been prompted by the successful implementation of biometric ration cards in some parts of the district, said sources in the district administration.
The biometric ration cards, issued in Rayagada municipal area, Gunupur and Gudari notified area councils and six panchayats of Rayagada block, have helped in preventing pilferage/leakage in the public distribution system by identifying fake or bogus ration cards, sources revealed.
A whopping 7,775 bogus ration cards have been identified till date saving around 1,900 quintal of rice a month which would have been otherwise sold in the black market, the sources added.
Sources said the district administration plans to launch an awareness drive to make beneficiaries aware of the benefits of the biometric card before implementing the scheme in the whole of the district.
The scheme was launched in Rayagada on a pilot basis on August 18, 2010, in association with the World Food Programme (WFP), to be finally implemented in January 2013 after some teething problems. One of the major problems faced was the fact that since a biometric card carried only the fingerprints of the card holder, his family could not collect grains in his absence. This was rectified and fingerprints of all members of a family included in the card, sources said.