Ration shops: Kerala yet to install e-weighing machines, iris scanners

Representational image.

Kochi: Kerala is yet to implement the Centre's directive on setting up bluetooth-enabled electronic weighing machines and iris scanners at all ration shops.

The project, being implemented by the Centre under the National Food Security Act, aims to prevent malpractices in the weighing of ration items by linking the electronic weighing machine and the E-POS machine via bluetooth.

The government initiated the tender process in 2019 to implement the system. After conducting a trial run at 10 ration shops in Thiruvananthapuram district in 2019, the government decided to implement the project, but laxity in execution continues.

Though the tender procedures were held several times between 2019 and 2021, the civil supplies department is yet to take the steps needed for implementation.

Forty companies participated in the first pre-bid meeting, but many withdrew after being told that the fund for the project would be released in phases over five years.

The Centre had even offered to increase the subsidy for food grains from Rs 17 per quintal to Rs 21 if the project is implemented. However, the state is yet to implement it.

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