Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal launched the ‘Duare Ration’ (ration at doorstep) scheme which the administration said will benefit around 10 crores of people of the state.
“This Duare Ration scheme will help 100 million people of the state. I will request all the ration dealers to make it a success,” Mamata said while launching the scheme and flagging off vehicles that would deliver the ration. Earlier, the Kejriwal government in Delhi decided to launch a similar ration delivery scheme from March 25 this year. The Union food and consumer affairs ministry, however, raised objections.
The ‘Duare Ration’ scheme is one of the many pet projects of Mamata and was announced ahead of the West Bengal assembly elections earlier this year. A section of dealers had moved the Calcutta High Court against the scheme but their plea was junked.
“Some are moving court while others are creating obstacles. Don’t do this. No one should create any disturbance else the food supply department would have to step in. Ensure its success,” Mamata told ration dealers.
There are around 21,000 rational dealers in the state. The government would provide a subsidy of Rs 100,000 to each dealer to purchase a delivery vehicle. The government also allowed ration dealers to recruit two assistants. The state would pay half their salaries. Each vehicle would be parked at a convenient location in a neighbourhood so that residents need not walk more than 500 metres to avail the ration.
At the programme, Mamata also inaugurated a WhatsApp chatbot for the Food and Supplies Department of the state government and a mobile application, ‘Khadya Sathi: Amar Ration Mobile App’ to help people apply for ration cards and get information about how to do it.