The Delhi government will from next month start a door-to-door survey to track ration cards that have been inactive for the last two-three months, Food and Supply Minister Imran Hussain said on Friday.
According to food department officials, ration cards, which remain inactive for consecutive three months, are liable to be cancelled.
Inactive ration cards are those where beneficiaries do not collect subsidised ration from the fair price shops for consecutive three months.
"We will conduct a door-to-door survey from next month (November) to check beneficiaries who are not collecting ration for two-three months. We will check if the person has gone his hometown or is sick. In such genuine cases, ration card will not be disconnected. If the card is inactive and the person is not existing or has left Delhi for good then we will cancel such (inactive) cards and include new ones," Hussain said.
He added that any beneficiary's ration card will not be cancelled without any valid reason. All factors behind not collecting ration will be thoroughly checked.
The minister said that through e-PoS machines by the end of October the department will have data about beneficiaries who are contentiously not collecting ration.
Delhi had suspended the use of e-PoS in early 2018, following complaints of poor network leading to authentication failures and exclusion of genuine beneficiaries. It was resumed in July this year.
"There will be some people who must have not come in July but collected ration in August and some must have skipped August but taken food grains in September. We will spare those cards who did not come to collect ration for one or two months," Hussain said.
The minister also said that if anyone has gone to his hometown and that's why he or she could not come to collect ration will also be spared.
Officials said that after the survey is completed the department will have an exact data about inactive cards.
"Once we have the exact data, the department will initiate the process to cancel inactive ration cards," an official of the department said.
After cancelling the cards, the government plans to include other applicants who were put on a wait as Delhi's quota of 72.77 lakh ration cards was over.
The minister said that there were over two lakh applications for ration cards put on pending list. He said that he had meetings with central government authorities to increase Delhi's quota of ration cards at least by 7-8 lakh.
"We have requested the central government to increase Delhi's quota to 80 lakh ration cards from 72.77 lakh but there has been no progress so far. Over two lakh ration cards are in the waiting list," Hussain said.
The Delhi government distributes free ration to 72.77 lakh beneficiaries through e-PoS (electronic-point of sale) devices under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 and Pradhan Mantri Garib Anna Kalyan Yojana (PMGAKY) at across 2,000 fair price shops. The government has also started distribution of ration under the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) scheme from July this year.
In June, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had rejected the Delhi government's proposal for the launch of its flagship "doorstep delivery of ration" scheme, citing a lack of clearance from the Centre and an ongoing court case involving the scheme.