Visakhapatnam: Srikakulam district has been selected as the pilot district for fine rice distribution to ration card holders. The district has 8 lakh card holders and 2,015 fair price shops.
Sources in the PDS department said the first district picked for the distribution of rice would be Srikakulam, starting from the month of September, followed by Vizianagaram in October and West Godavari in November. “The whole idea is to ensure distribution of quality grain to the card holders. Keeping this in mind, the government has decided to initiate the project phase-wise, starting with Srikakulam so that it can be thoroughly streamlined before it is implemented across the state,” E Chitti Babu, deputy director, PDS, said.
Civil supplies department officials informed that distribution in all districts of the state will commence by March 2020. They further pointed out that the quality of fine rice would be 15% broken as against the accepted norm of 25%. A Surya Kumari, vice-chairman and MD of civil supplies department, said the rice would be priced at the same Rs 1 per kg. “The volume would be 5 kg of rice per unit. So if a card has only one unit (person), then it would be 5 kg, if there are units it would be 10 kg and so on. The rice will be packed in 5 kg, 10 kg, 15 kg and 20 kg bags,” Surya Kumari said.
On the available stock available in the PDS department, she said over 15 lakh metric tonnes of rice (requirement for the entire state) has already been procured and stocked in various warehouses. “This year, fine quality rice will not be graded any further as we did not have enough time. However, after the 2020 kharif season, the fine quality rice will be graded further at the paddy procurement centres across the state,” she added.