Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday ordered suspension of the Food Commissioner after quintals of ration for distribution to 4,000 families was allegedly found missing from a ration shop during an inspection by Food Minister Imran Hussain.
“This is very serious. Food of the poorest people is being stolen. Responsibility ought to be fixed at the highest levels. I have directed the suspension of the Food Commissioner,” Kejriwal tweeted.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief’s order to suspend Food Commissioner Mohanjeet Singh came after Food and Supply Minister Hussain submitted a report stating that ration from a shop in west Delhi’s Nangloi was found “missing” despite a receipt of delivery.
“During my inspection of a ration shop in Nangloi last night (Tuesday), I found that the ration which was to be distributed to 4,000 people from December 1 onwards was missing. In all, 152 quintals of wheat and 38 quintals of rice was delivered from the godown but when we force-opened the ration shop, it was empty,” Hussain told the media here.
Hinting at the role of ration mafia in the incident, Hussain said that people living near the ration shop also did not see any truck delivering ration at the shop, “which means that the ration was taken somewhere else”.
“This is a huge scam. Even after my incessant orders to the Food Commissioner to inspect these shops, no action was taken. It is not Minister’s responsibility to inspect…the commissioner should do it,” Hussain said.
The MLA from Ballimaran constituency said to stop such incidents, his department has been asking the Lt. Governor and other officials to start doorstep delivery of ration “but no official accepts the proposal”.
“We cleared the proposal to start doorstep delivery of ration twice in the cabinet, but no action was taken. I have personally written to the Chief Secretary and the Lt. Governor several times but they don’t pay attention.
“Now, the Chief Minister has ordered the suspension of the Food Commissioner and if the Lt. Governor doesn’t take action then it will be clear that he is also involved in the whole incident,” Hussain asserted.
When IANS reached out to Mohanjeet Singh to ask if he was given a chance to present his side, he said: “There is no suspension.”
“If Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) had been installed, it would have ensured that no ration is diverted from the shops.
“For the last six months, we have been recommending restoration of EPOS to the Food and Supply Minister but to no avail. When installed earlier, EPOS was able to stop pilferage worth crores. Why the system was suspended is reasons best known to the Minister,” Singh said.