Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday announced that his government is all set to start doorstep delivery of ration, calling it an addition to the “pro-people” measures being taken by his government.
In a video message, Mann said while the rich can sit in the comfort of their homes and order things, the poor have to wait in long queues to get their ration, often forced to leave their day’s work. Also, old women have to walk for several kilometres to get the ration from depots, he said.
Mann added that often, the dry ration given to the poor (as part of Food for All scheme) is of poor quality and not fit for human consumption. “But the poor people have no choice but to eat it. However, now the Aam Aadmi Party is all set to change this. Good quality ration will be packed in clear gunny bags and delivered at doorsteps. The officers will call the beneficiaries, check on their availability and then come and deliver the ration,” he said, adding that it is optional for beneficiaries to choose doorstep delivery or take their grains from the ration depots.
The chief minister also asked the people to report to the government in case they got lesser grains or their quality was unsatisfactory. He added that though a similar scheme was announced for Delhi also by party convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, it was “stopped by forces that wanted people to stand in serpentine queues”.
There are 1.42 lakh beneficiaries in Punjab under the National Food Safety Act. Wheat at Rs 5 per kg per beneficiary every month is provided for six months, twice a year.
Once the Punjab government implements the policy of doorstep delivery of ration to people, citizens in others states, too, will “start demanding” it, Kejriwal said on Monday. In a virtual briefing, he also alleged that the BJP-led central government has been trying to “impede” the implementation of this policy in the national capital. “Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann ji has made a great announcement today that ration will be delivered to the very doorstep of people, and it will immensely benefit the poor,” he said.
“We have also been trying to implement it in Delhi, but the BJP government in the Centre has been trying to impede the implementation of this policy in Delhi,” he alleged. Kejriwal asserted that an idea, whose time has come, “cannot be stopped”.
Prior to this, after taking over as chief minister, Mann launched an anti-corruption helpline, announced jobs for 35,000 contractual employees and recently slashed the multiple pensions given to MLAs in Punjab.