Skip to main content

Delhi govt adopting "lackadaisical approach" on subsidized grains to 50% urban residents

An Abhiyan-supported demonstration in Delhi
Counterview Desk
The Delhi High Court has said that the Delhi government’s affidavit filed on rules for grievance redress under the National Food Security Act is “wholly unsatisfactory”. In its verdict on Friday, it has directed the presence of concerned official in the next hearing. It was hearing the contempt petition filed by the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan against the state government for its “failure” to comply with the court order of September 1, 2017, requiring it to put in place the requisite grievance redress and accountability framework under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
Senior activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Annie Raja, Koninika Ray, Dipa Sinha, Anwar, Aditi, Shakeel, Kailash and Amrita Johri, in a communiqué issued on behalf of the Abhiyan following the Delhi Court hearing, said that under the NFSA, up to 50% of the urban population is entitled to 5 kg of subsidized grains per person per month. Yet the Delhi government has been adopting a “lackadaisical approach.”

Text of the communiqué

The bench comprising the Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup Bhambhani said they were completely dissatisfied by the reply filed by the Delhi government. Further, they demanded to know why the concerned officer of the Food Department had failed to attend the hearing. Taking a strict note of the non-compliance, the court directed that the concerned official of the Food Department must appear before it on the next date of hearing. The matter will now be heard on May 9.
The reply filed by the Delhi government reveals the lackadaisical approach adopted by the government. It places on record that the appropriate rules for grievance redress and accountability have still not been promulgated by the Delhi government, more than 5 years after the law was passed and 19 months after the order of the Delhi High Court.
The affidavit shows that the file regarding framing of rules has just been transferred between various departments and ministries, with no concrete action being taken. The affidavit ends by stating that the matter of setting up the statutory grievance redress framework under NFSA as directed by the Delhi High Court is still under consideration of the government!
Under the NFSA, up to 50% of the urban population is entitled to 5 kg of subsidized grains per person per month. Families under the Antodaya category are to receive 35 kg per family per month. Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Scheme & Maternity Benefits are also covered as statutory entitlements under the law.
Proper implementation of the NFSA is crucial to ensure food security for the poor and marginalised. The recent starvation deaths of 3 minor girls in Delhi highlighted the alarming situation of distress and food insecurity in the capital. The situation is especially dire for children, elderly and the homeless- who are the most vulnerable.
The National Food Security law provides for mandatory periodic social audits and setting up of State Food Commission. Further the law also requires appointment of District Grievance Redressal Officers, internal grievance redressal mechanism and transparency of ration related records.
The Abhiyan has repeatedly stressed the need to seriously strengthen the framework of food security and remove barriers which prevent people from accessing it. Further, having a robust grievance redress framework would ensure that peoples complaints and grievances about problems in accessing their right to food would be addressed in a time-bound manner.

Background

On September 1, 2017, the Delhi High Court bench of the then Chief Justice Geeta Mittal & Justice C. Hari Shankar said that were appalled to note that the Delhi government had failed to promulgate rules under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) including those related to transparency, grievance redress and accountability provisions despite passage of more than 3 years since the enactment of the law. The Court directed the government to frame Rules and operationalise all provisions of the law in a time-bound manner to ensure proper functioning of ration shops in Delhi.
These directions were given in an ongoing case filed by the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan against Aadhaar being made mandatory for receiving ration under the National Food Security Act.
Despite the order of the High Court of September 1, 2017, the Delhi government failed to put in place the requisite grievance redressal and accountability framework. As a result, in February 2019, the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan filed a contempt petition against the failure to comply with the order.

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.