Special squads formed by the Civil Supplies Department have begun their second round of taluk-level inspections in the district to trace ineligible beneficiaries who are yet to surrender their unlawfully secured priority ration cards.

The taluk-wise list of the illegal card holders will be ready with the District Supply Office within a week and the illegal beneficiaries will be asked to pay back the actual amount of the items purchased in addition to the fine amount to escape from penalising actions.

“In the first phase, we had traced around 20,000 such illegal priority card holders in Kozhikode district and initiated action. They were all shifted to the general category after allotting the priority cards to other eligible beneficiaries,” said District Supply Officer K. Manoj Kumar. “Other than the information directly collected by the squad members, we are also getting confidential information on people who misuse the priority ration cards,” he added.

As per the official records, the district has around seven lakh ration card holders under the priority, non-priority, State priority and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) schemes under the national Food Security Act. Of this, 40,000 are beneficiaries of AAY.

The number of beneficiaries under the priority list is around 2.5 lakh.

The Civil Supplies Department has also extended opportunity to the illegal priority card holders to voluntarily surrender it at the taluk offices. In the first phase of checking, the voluntary surrendering option had been exercised by around 6,000 card holders in Kozhikode district. They had been exempted from fine and penalising actions.

Taluk supply officials say that the inclusion of eligible beneficiaries will be possible only after clearing all the illegal priority card holders. They have found around 20,000 eligible families for the priority ration cards on completion of the first phase of checking.

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