In a bid to ensure equal distribution of kerosene in all the eight zones of the city, the food distribution office (FDO) of Pune city has decided to ration kerosene to ration shops.
In place since the last two months, the systematic rationing translates into all the shops receiving 67% of their quota every month.
Giving details about the scheme, Pradip Patil, food distribution officer said, "Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad require 10,000 kilo liters of kerosene per month for distribution to eligible people among the 9.40 lakh ration card holders. However, we get 5.736 kilo liters of kerosene from the oil companies. The shortfall gave rise to unfair practices, wherein some shops got more than their share of kerosene while some shops did not get theirs."
Patil said the scenario occurred mostly due to the corrupt system. Last year, he had undertaken a major drive in the eight zones to understand the extent of corruption. Patil said 3 litres of kerosene is given per person per card, provided the card holder does not have a gas connection.
However, his study showed that a majority of the shops in all the eight zones had submitted fake data regarding the number of people eligible for kerosene. This, Patil pointed out, was possible because of the unholy nexus between some officials and ration shop owners. The excess kerosene was sold in black market by shop owners.
Surprise checks were carried out over six months to identify people with gas connections. "From January, we decided to ensure equal distribution of kerosene to ration shops in the city. This served the dual process of checking black marketing of kerosene and equal distribution of kerosene in the city," he said. Initially, there was stiff resistance from the "kerosene mafia". Rationing of kerosene clipped the wings of the mafia. Many officers who were hand-in-glove with them were unhappy. But in the last two months, we managed to streamline the process to a great deal, he said.
© 2011. Peoples Media Pune