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Taking All Steps to Ensure None go Hungry During Covid-19 Lockdown: AAP Govt to Delhi HC

(Representative Image.) Volunteers distribute food among needy people during a nationwide lockdown, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.  (PTI Photo)

(Representative Image.) Volunteers distribute food among needy people during a nationwide lockdown, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. (PTI Photo)

The Delhi government said apart from the regular entitlement under PDS for May 2020, food has been distributed as an additional entitlement under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKY) and Mukhya Mantri Corona Sahayta Yojana for April 2020 from fair price shop from Arpil 29.

The AAP government told the Delhi High Court that all possible steps have been taken to ensure no person remains hungry during COVID-19 lockdown.

In an affidavit filed before the high court, the Delhi government's food department said that apart from the regular entitlement under PDS for May 2020, food has been distributed as an additional entitlement under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKY) and Mukhya Mantri Corona Sahayta Yojana for Arpil 2020 from FPS (fair price shop) from Arpil 29.

Till May 21, ration under PDS for May and under PMGKY for April has been issued to 49,41,557 beneficiaries, the affidavit filed through Delhi government additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal on May 23, said.

Apart from that dry ration has been issued to 29,76,403 number of beneficiaries under non-PDS category, it has also said.

The affidavit was filed in response to the high court's direction of May 18 to give details of steps taken by the Delhi government to ensure no one goes hungry during the lockdown.

The high court on May 18 had observed that its directions remain unfulfilled.

The high court's observation had come during hearing of a plea by an NGO, Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan, alleging non-supply of ration to many poor people during the lockdown.

The Delhi government, in its affidavit, has said that it has issued directions to all fair price shops (FPS), under the public distribution system(PDS), in the national capital to remain open on all seven days of the week.

Besides that field inspections have been carried out to monitor distribution of ration and warnings have been issued and penalties imposed on those FPS licensees who are not complying with the government''s instructions, the department has said.

It also said in its affidavit that to adhere to social distancing norms, FPS for distribution cycle in May were to be opened in a staggered manner.

"As per norms, with closure of one distribution cycle under PDS, the other cycle can be taken up by FPS only after 'opening of sales', which requires inspection of availability of stocks in the FPS and necessary registers maintained at the FPS level," it has said.

"Accordingly, in view of staggered opening of sales, only limited number of FPS were allowed to open for distribution," the department further said.

Besides that, total 1,834 hunger relief centres have been set up in the national capital and from there 8.78 lakh persons were provided cooked meals for lunch and dinner during the lockdown, the government also said.

Apart from that, over 6.7 lakh persons in DUSIB shelters were provided lunch and dinner from March 22 to May 17, it also said. The high court is to hear the matter on May 28.


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