Chandigarh: The Punjab government has stopped providing free ration under the ‘Atta-Dal Scheme’ to 3.5 lakh people in Punjab. The Food and Civil Supplies Department has cancelled 88,064 ration cards of smart ration scheme (Atta Dal Scheme) in the last few days, due to which 3,59,926 beneficiaries will not get government ration.

The AAP government has started scrutinising the ration cards of the Atta-Dal scheme. Those ration card holders who are being found ineligible, their ration cards are being deleted from the portal.

According to the details, the Food and Civil Supplies Department has a total of 40.68 lakh ration cards in Punjab as per the report of the inquiry received from the Deputy Commissioners till March 3.

Out of these, scrutiny of 37.79 lakh cards has been completed, which is 92.89 per cent. In this investigation, 3.30 lakh ration cards have been found ineligible, which did not meet the conditions. As many as 88,064 ration cards have been deducted from the ineligible ration cards.

The cutting of these ration cards in Punjab has created a stir and the opposition parties have started targeting the government on the matter. Where eligible ration cards have been cut, the protest against the government has started increasing. Most of the ineligible card holders are those own cars. In this investigation, most of the poor people have got a lot of trouble. There is also pressure for re-verification in several districts, officials said.

The issue could weigh heavily on the government. According to the investigation report, on an average, every fourth ration card in Tarn Taran district has been found ineligible. A total of 1.41 lakh cards have been scrutinised in the district, out of which 36,982 (26.08 per cent) have turned out to be ineligible. Ludhiana district is at number two where 46,000 ration cards have been found ineligible. Bathinda district is at number three, where 31,219 ration cards have been found ineligible in the scrutiny of two lakh cards, which is 15.34 per cent.

Similarly, 13.11 per cent in Ropar district, 12.98 per cent in Fatehgarh Sahib, 13.42 per cent in Faridkot, 11.14 per cent in Mohali district, 9.99 per cent in Mansa district, 9.05 per cent in Ferozepur and 9.74 per cent in Amritsar district have been found ineligible. If we look at the ration cards, the highest number of 29,725 ration cards have been cancelled in Ludhiana district, while 8567 cards have been cut in Ropar district.

Apart from this, 7445 ration cards have been canceled in Moga district, 6155 in Hoshiarpur, 6063 in Bathinda and 4596 in Pathankot. It has been learnt that around eight lakh beneficiaries have been found ineligible, out of which ration of 3.59 lakh beneficiaries has been discontinued. It may be recalled that the Central government had imposed a cut of about 11 per cent on Punjab some time ago as the number of beneficiaries in Punjab is much more than the quota fixed by the Centre.

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