The DMK held statewide protests on Monday alleging that the Public Distribution System shops in Tamil Nadu are short-supplied. While the govt has denied these allegations, people from several district say, there is a severe shortage.
On March 4, state Minister for Cooperation Sellur K Raju had visited ration shops near the Madurai by-pass and claimed that there was sufficient supply of commodities in all PDS outlets. But when people from the area tried to speak to him, they were reportedly blocked.
Rangarajan, a resident of Palanganatham in Madurai said, âAll the commodities in the ration shop are unavailable most of the time. But when we tried telling the Minister about it, some cadres stopped us.â
Many people alleged that when they go to PDS stores to buy one commodity, they are forced to buy other things also.
âWhenever I come to the shop to buy a single commodity, the shopkeeper keeps compelling me to buy tea leaf packets or any other commodity. This happens every time I visit the shop,â said Annapoorani, a resident of Chinthamani area of Tiruchi.
âThere is always shortage of goods in the shop,â said Dharmalingam, another customer from Tiruchi. âWe have to go on specific days to buy the goods, once the stock gets over, we donât get those goods for the whole month. There is always a shortage of rice in the shop,â he said.
âMoreover, the items in the shop are only available from the first to the fifth of the month,â said Mallika, from Madurai.
Speaking to The News Minute, Selvaraj, the state president of Ration Employees Association said, âSome places are not given proper supplies. If there are 1000 people living in an area, the supplies are provided for 50 to 60% of the people only. One of the reasons for insufficient supplies could be that there is no rain in the state and crops have failed.â
He added that if a customer goes to the shop this month, they cannot go and buy the next month, and will have to wait for atleast another month to get supplies.
However, Minister Sellur K Raju, speaking to reporters said, âWe are providing 100% commodities to all the ration shops. If you inform us that any particular shopkeeper was illegally selling the commodities then we will take strict action against them.â
He also promised that the people will be provided proper ration every month. He added that only this government is providing ration at such low prices. During the DMK period, the commodities were much costlier, he said.
DMK carried out a statewide protest on Monday against the short supply of commodities in PDS shops in Tamil Nadu.