LAST UPDATED: May 19, 2021, 7:42 p.m.
Lucknow: In what could be probably one of the biggest foodgrain distribution initiatives, the Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh will start providing free foodgrains to about 15 crore beneficiaries in the state from Thursday onwards.
Under this initiative, the state government will distribute 5 kg free ration to 3.59 crore ration card-holders for the next two months.
This relief to the poorer section is being provided under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY).
The ration will be distributed under the supervision of the nodal officers at around 80,000 ration shops with adherence to all the Covid safety protocols.
Manish Chauhan, Commissioner, Food and Civil Supplies Department, said, “The state has around 3.59 crore households having ration cards of ‘Antodaya’ and eligible household category, covering 14.7 crore beneficiaries. For this, it is estimated that more than 7.5 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains are required by the department. We have enough ration for all the beneficiaries under the scheme.”
To ensure transparency, the distribution will be done through e-POS (electronic point of sales) machines which are also being used by the Department of Food and Civil Supply at the wheat procurement centres in the state. The beneficiaries will be asked to sanitise their hands first before using the machine.
The exercise will be closely monitored and carried out while observing the Covid protocols. Online tokens have been arranged by the government for the convenience of the beneficiaries to prevent Covid spread. To maintain social distancing at each ration shop, only five beneficiaries will be allowed at a time.
The Centre had earlier made the commitment that the poor section of the society will now be provided with 5 kg free foodgrains from May to June end.
This relief under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) will cover around 80 crore beneficiaries costing more than Rs 26,000 crore.
Earlier in April 2020, when the state was under the first complete lockdown, the Yogi Adityanath government had provided free ration for eight months at a stretch, from April to November.
Around 5 kg of foodgrains per unit were distributed to daily wage workers and people below the poverty line in the state.