The Hindu Download Pdf
State to launch iris ration cards
 
Orissa, India - May 31, 2008

One-time solution to weed out bogus cards
The size of cards will be 1.5 times more than a postcard
The beneficiaries will be given coupons to buy commodities

BHUBANESWAR: Eyeing at a one-time solution to bamboozling of food ration cards in Orissa, World Food Programme (WFP) and the State Government Solutions have embarked upon a pilot scheme introducing iris recognition, a biometric technology, in Rayagada district.

Prints of 10 fingers of beneficiaries are also being taken in order to nullify chances of any duplicity and do away with bogus cards. When documentation of iris as well as fingerprints will be completed, people will be issued new laminated card replacing old rations cards that tend to fall into pieces with passage of time. “Iris part of eyes of human beings are unique. They cannot be duplicated by any means. Although Andhra Pradesh had started the iris-based ration cards a couple years ago, those have never been used to eliminate bogus cards. In Rayagada, we intend to streamline the distribution of cards by removing ghost beneficiaries,” WFP State Director B. K.Bal told The Hindu here on Friday.

Documentation

As part of innovative scheme, snaps of people’s iris will be taken in three blocks such as Rayagada, Ramanguda and Gudari while in rest eight blocks, only fingerprints will be recorded. The WFP has roped in Bangalore-based COMAT Technologies and Hyderabad-based 4G Informatics to implement the pilot project that would cost Rs. 2 crore. “We have started works in four panchayats of Rayagada block. Personnel divided into 30 units have been engaged to carry out the works. We expect to complete the documentation process by September and distribution of cards by December,” Mr. Bal said.

He said the size of cards would be 1.5 times more than a postcard that would consist of name of the beneficiary as well as other members of the family along with their photographs. The ration cards could become one of the most authenticated Government Solutions documents. However, the project would not come to an end with the distribution of ration cards. The beneficiary would be given coupons for purchasing commodities from fair price shops. “This would ensure no manipulation at the shop owners’ end. We will monitor the programme for one year after which the model will be handed over to State Government Solutions for further implementation,” the WFP State Director said.

It has been alleged time and again that there have been a large number of bogus ration cards existing in public distribution system. As a result, real beneficiaries have failed to avail essential commodities from fair price shops.

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