Cut in PDS rice to BPL families under High Court scanner

Cuttack, Jul 23: The Orissa High Court today issued notices to the Union Government and the state government seeking replies on a petition alleging that the BPL families were receiving lower rice ration every month.

Petitioner Rohan Mohanty, secretary, Odisha Yuva Mancha, a voluntary organization, alleged that the Centre was providing 35 kg of rice under Targeted Public Distribution System to all BPL families in Odisha, but the state government was giving only 25 kg to each family every month. The petitioner urged the division bench comprising Chief Justice C Nagappan and Justice Indrajit Mohanti to intervene in the matter and direct the state government to provide 35 kg of rice to all BPL families every month.

The petition asked that if the state government could provide rice at Re 1 a kg, instead of Rs 2 a kg earlier, why could it not provide 35 kg of rice at Rs 2 a kg to all BPL families, including the leftover 11.10 lakh BPL families.

The court asked the respondents to file counter affidavits within four weeks. The state government had earlier said that though there were 38.85 lakh BPL families in the state, the Centre was providing 35 kg of rice to only 27.75 lakh families. It had said that the cut in the quota was being made to provide subsidized rice to the leftover BPL families.


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