Fingerprint issues plague certain ration beneficiaries

KAKINADA: Many elderly, servant maids and daily labourers are finding it difficult to collect their ration through public distribution system (PDS), as E-PoS machines at the outlets are not confirming their fingerprints. The issue has arisen due to erosion of fingerprints belonging to these sections.

As E-PoS is not confirming their fingerprints, PDS dealers are denying rations to such people. A major issue here is that if ration is not collected for three consecutive months, the card gets cancelled. Many beneficiaries are thus on tenterhooks about losing their benefits, particularly in their old age.

V. Suryanarayana of Rajamahendravaram said he and his wife had been collecting ration every month by pressing their fingerprints on the machine at the PDS ration shop. But for the past two months, the machine is not accepting their prints. Not only have they been denied their ration for last two months, the ration shop owner has warned them that if the machine does not accept their fingerprints this month, their ration card will get cancelled automatically. The dealer has suggested that the couple approach the mandal tahsildar office to sort out the issue.

District civil supplies officer P. Prasada Rao suggested that if fingerprints of beneficiaries are not captured by the E-PoS, such beneficiaries can give alternative fingerprints of their neighbours or relatives to collect ration on their behalf.

However, when similar problems arose in disbursal of old-age pensions, the District Rural Development Agency provided pensions through the Real Time Beneficiary System. It used face recognition technology and matched them with Aadhaar cards of the beneficiaries before giving them the pensions.

PDS beneficiaries are requesting the government that a similar facility could be introduced at the ration shops to get over the issue of fingerprints not getting recorded. They say nowadays, neighbours or relatives may not be willing to help as they might be busy with their jobs or businesses and unable to spare time.

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