Tamil Nadu Chief Minister today inaugurated 3,501 mobile ration shops. These will be positioned at convenient spots near the homes of people, dispensing essential goods.
The scheme, which was being run on a pilot basis through 43 mobile ration shops in Tiruchi and Tiruppur districts is being spread all across the State.
This scheme will benefit over five lakh ration card holders in Tamil Nadu.
33,000 ration shops are currently functioning in TN where people, based on their area of domicile pick up the essential goods distributed under the public distribution scheme.
This has not been universally convenient as those people staying in remote, inaccessible locations and near mountainous terrains have found it difficult to visit the shops usually situated in town centres and villages.
In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, more states and union territories are joining efforts to digitise the public distribution system to allow citizens access subsidised food grains anywhere in the country.
The ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ initiative of the government seeks to ensure that more than 81 crore beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) get access to food grains anywhere in the country, should they choose to leave the towns and villages in search of jobs elsewhere.
Ration cardholders across the State will have to carry out biometric authentication from October before receiving their entitlements from fair price shops, according to the present plan of the Civil Supplies Department.
This will be part of the One Nation One Rationcard (ONOR) scheme aimed at achieving “seamless intra-State and inter-State portability” of ration cards, said senior officials.
For every transaction, the cardholders, regardless of the category — priority or non-priority — will do the authentication, making use of Aadhaar numbers. At present, Tiruchi, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Karur, Nagapattinam and Udhagamandalam districts have taken to biometric authentication in varying degrees.