January 14, 2013 -
The Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs in India will begin issuing photo-biometric ration cards for current Below the Poverty Line (BPL) and Above the Poverty Line (APL) card holders this week, the Times of India reports. This news comes less than a week after as many as 150 bogus ration cards issued under the biometric system were discovered.
According to a report in the Deccan Herald, the bogus cards were created by the food and civil supplies department deputy director in collusion with three fair price shop owners as well as the biometric franchisee.
Allegedly, the deputy director along with the franchisee and card holders collected fingerprints instead of thumbprints to generate the cards for the fake families. Food and Civil Supplies Minister D N Jeevaraj has said there was a possibility of similar manipulation elsewhere in the state and that all cards would be verified.
The department has booked a cheating case against the deputy director, shop owners and the unnamed biometric franchisee.
This isn’t the first time bogus biometrics have come to light in India as of late. As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, The Unique Identity Authority of India also cancelled some 384,000 Aadhaar numbers of the total 410,000 issued under a biometric exception clause.
According to the Times of India report, the first of the new machines will be installed in Narasimharajapura taluk. Jeevaraj also told the Times that another five districts have been added to the deployment plan for this new biometric ration system. Those districts are: Chikmagalur, Raichur, Belgaum, Dharwad and Mysore.