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Faulty biometric scanners at PDS shops leads to commotion across TN

- March 1, 2022

Chennai, March 1 (BPNS)

The presence of faulty biometric scanners in PDS shops has led to commotion across the state of Tamil Nadu with consumers not being able to get their ration material even after standing in queues for long hours.

In several PDS shops in the state, the biometric scanners turn faulty and heated arguments take place with the staff in these fair price shops. Many ration cardholders said that the government must intervene immediately to make the functioning of the ration shops smoothly and to repair the faulty biometric meters.

Santhanavally, a resident of Chepauk in Chennai while speaking to BPNS said, “ In the PDS shop where I go to buy my monthly ration, the biometric facility is always faulty leading to me coming back home empty-handed. If you are transferring your data into a technology-driven environment, then it is your responsibility to have a smooth functioning of that technology.”

She also said that in the ration shop, the biometric scanner does not work ten days a month and with this large queues are found in the shop making it difficult to get the ration.

Usha Rani, a PDS cardholder from Kovilpatti Street, Ward 13, Erode while speaking to BPNS said, “ The biometric scanners in my PDS shop do not function properly and only on occasions it works. I got to the shop to buy my ration after 11.30 am after completing my household chores but when I reach there the biometric scanner is not verifying the impression of my thumb and so was the case of several other consumers who were standing in queue. I waited there for long but the staff said that server was not working and again I came the next day, still it was not working. However, another day when I came in the morning it worked and got the ration. This makes situation difficult for us as we are purely dependent on the ration being supplied through the PDS shops for our living.”

Even though this issue persists across the state, the salesmen refuse to provide ration through the old billing system which was working properly.

M.R. Gopalswamy, a resident of Kanniyakumari while speaking to BPNS said, “ The ration shops should also have the billing system as a standby when the biometric scanners are not working. The staff refuses to provide us ration through the old billing system if the biometric scanners fail and every month the scanners work only for five to seven days. Heated arguments and occasionally physical confrontations also occur at the ration shops due to this biometric scanner. Government must immediately take steps to correct this.”

When contacted a senior officer with the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies department told BPNS, “Yes it is true that the biometric scanners don’t work properly but it is maintained by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and we have communicated to them on the difficulties being faced at the PDS shops on this. The alternate arrangement of the old billing system may be tried as a standby but such a decision has not been taken at the higher level. We will correct these discrepancies soon.”