South Delhi Poor Go Hungry as Aadhaar Device at Ration Shop Fails

An e-POS device at an FPS in Jasola stops receiving signals in 30 minutes, forcing people to go without ration.

2 min read

What was started by the government to bring ‘transparency in Public Distribution System (PDS), ’ has become an obstacle for many to get their share of subsidised food.

The Delhi government handed out electronic Point of Sale (e-PoS) devices to all 2,254 Fair Price Shops (FPS) in the national capital on 1 January 2018. The Aadhaar-based e-PoS machines use biometric identification of ration card-holders on the basis of which foodgrains are allotted to them.

Neelam, 46, who works as a domestic help, was unable to get rice and wheat for her home, as the e-POS installed in an FPS in south Delhi’s Jasola area could not read her fingerprint.

“I don't know where I will get my ration from, I will look around, hope someone gives it to me,” she said.

Similarly, there are many residents of Jasola and nearby areas who are either going home empty-handed or buying their necessities at market value.

The e-POS machine often fails to recognise fingerprints of women who work as domestic helps or labourers whose fingers are roughed up. 
Santram, 52, the owner of Jasola’s FPS

The e-POS device, which is equipped with two SIM cards, also faces several network glitches.

The machine (e-POS) heats up in half-an-hour and stops getting any signal. Earlier, I could sell ration manually to 150 people in an hour, but with the device it’s around 40-50.

Shop Shut Due to Faulty Device

On 10 January, Wednesday, Santram had to pull down the shutters of his store because after he complained several times about the functionality of the e-POS, the officials took away the machine for repairing. “I cannot sell the ration without getting it registered on the e-POS,” the shopkeeper said.

Iris Scan at FPS Soon

From 15 January, the Government plans to implement iris scan at all FPSs in Delhi. The Indian Express quoted the national capital’s Food Supplies Minister Imran Hussain saying “ While iris recognition will be implemented on 15 January, authentication using one-time password (OTP) will be done at the FPSs between 15 and 20 January.”

Video Editor: Sandeep Suman

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