Hyderabad: The Telangana Food and Civil Supplies Department has rejected around 85 percent of ration cards in Hyderabad.

Data provided by the Telangana Food and Civil Supplies Department, in their Aadhar Seeding Report, revealed that out of 20.6 lakh ration cards issued in Hyderabad, 17.6 lakh cards come under the rejected category.

Speaking to NewsMeter, Satyanarayana Reddy, Commissioner of Civil Supplies, Telangana said, "This data seems like a cumulative number, that is taken right from beginning, so it could be taken for more than three years. Recently we have not done any cancellations on ration cards. However, many ration cards are yet to be issued, which explains this number."

In addition to this, according to the data provided by the parliamentary standing committee’s report on food, consumer affairs, and public distribution, Telangana has canceled the highest number of bogus ration cards in South India.

However, amid the COVID-19 lockdown, people, especially Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration cardholders, are running from pillar to post after the arbitrary cancellation. Several of them are unaware that their ration cards have been cancelled, which has become a problem when supplies are restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sample this: Ahmed Khan, a resident of Fateh Darwaza, got to know about the cancelation of his card when he went to buy his monthly ration. “We had submitted our Aadhar and linked it with the ration card. Suddenly a month back I am told that my card is canceled. I do not know why. No reason was given for the cancellation. Now we have been left in the lurch,” said Khan, who works as embroidery artisan.

Likewise, Fatima Begum, a resident of Ali Bagh, has been left to fend for herself after her ration card was canceled. “I have constantly tried to meet officers at the Ration Card Office in Hussaini Alam. They have not cited any reason for cancellation,” said Ali bin Hussein, Fatima’s son.

"Card cancellation happens due to many issues. For example, death of the card-holder can be a reason. Or when a couple moves out from their family after marriage, it could lead to cancellation. Citizens need to consult with ration card officers reagrding this," said the Commissioner of Civil Supplies.

An official of the Civil Supplies Department said it is not possible to issue new ration cards at this juncture. “Issuing ration cards need to be done online. In case of cancelation, they need to enquire with officials under their jurisdiction. However, in this scenario of lockdown, issuing new ones is not possible,” he said

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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