Maha govt tells HC it will give foodgrains to ration card holders from 11 states

The state government has reached agreement with 11 states and asked them to port ration cards so that migrants stuck in the state can get ration


Maharashtra government has told the Bombay High Court that it has made an agreement with 11 states for porting ration cards so that migrants belonging to those states can avail of ration in Maharashtra. This submission was made in a petition filed by a Pune-based social activities and lawyer Vanita Chavan which sought supply of essentials to the poor, migrants and tribals who do not have ration cards during the lockdown.

Raising the concern that public distribution shops or ration shops were not distributing ration in an effective manner, the plea asked that ration and essential goods be made available by the state government to those who do not have ration cards.

The plea highlighted that Maharashtra could, like other states of Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Telangana, provide foodgrains without asking for ration cards.

While the state government submitted that it will give ration to people from these 11 states, provided they have ration cards, it showed unwillingness to give ration to people not possessing ration cards, like tribals. Maharashtra chose to stick to the prevailing system which has been in place for the longest time and is being managed by the Maharashtra administration. It said the demand to provide ration to wandering tribals could not be fulfilled by the state.

The state government, however, said that it was doing many other things to provide aid to migrants and people without ration cards. An affidavit filed by foodgrain distribution officer, Pune said that it had been providing cooked meals to the needy through the Shiv Bhojan thaali scheme as well as through food camps set up for the same purpose which are availed by the homeless, the migrants as also wandering tribals.

The state, through the government pleader, said that it was diligently implementing the National Food Security Act. The act stipulates that anyone holding a valid ration card is eligible to get subsidised ration provided by the government. In furtherance of the same have “entered into an agreement with 11 states, which allows people from these states living in Maharashtra to get the amount of foodgrains they are eligible for in their respective states”.

The High Court then asked the petitioner to file a rejoinder to the state’s response and has posted the matter for hearing on May 18.


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