Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has appointed vigilance committees to keep a close watch on unloading and distribution of foodgrains for the smooth implementation of Food Security Act in the state which was launched on February 1.
"We have appointed vigilance committees to keep a close watch on unloading and distribution of foodgrains. We have also asked tehsildars and sub-divisional officers to undertake regular monthly inspections and hold meetings in this regard," Food and Civil Supplies department secretary Deepak Kapoor said.
Till now the vigilance committee was only on papers. But henceforth, for the prevention of black-marketing and malpractice during the implementation of the scheme, these committees will play a vital role in distribution of foodgrains to the beneficiaries, he said.
"The next important step which we have taken is, if a ration-card owner is caught in any fraudulent activities, then he will be penalised under sections 3 and 7 of the Essential Commodities Act," he said.
If the vigilance committee, which will comprise of police patils, sarpanch, educated women and youth, is found to be involved in dereliction of duties, then the tehsildars have been ordered to complain about it to the district collectors, he said.
The state would require 44 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrain every year, which would cost around Rs 10,000-11,000 crore to the government, he said.
"There are seven crore beneficiaries in the state among various categories like below poverty line (BPL) and Antyodaya," Kapoor said.
The state government would build another 6,000 ration shops for better implementation of the scheme.
"At present, we have 52,400 rationing shops. We have already allotted 300 shops," the official said.
The state government has also undertaken the programme to build 235 godowns in the state, he said, adding that so far 32 godowns have been built and by this year end another 143 would be built. The remaining ones would be built next year.