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ePDS launched in Tirap, a giant step towards PDS streamlining

(Source :Arunachal Times)

KHONSA, May 31: The ePDS, the first of its kind in whole of northeast and a giant step towards PDS streamlining was formally launched at Khonsa today by Speaker Wanglin Lowangdong.
He also inaugurated the ePDS counter as a part of the launching programme.
Later addressing the HoDs at DCs conference hall, the Speaker appreciated the effort of DF&CSO Amit Bengia and district administration for evolving the ePDS system and hoped that it would go a long way in streamlining PDS in the real sense of the term. He said that Tirap district was faced with a peculiar problem of its own and appealed to the officers to work with utmost sincerity saying that ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going’.
Lowangdong also hope that Tirap district would come out with more such innovative ideas in future. Speaker further said that providing food security to the people was the prime duty of any government adding that the benefits of ePDS must reach the poorest of the poor. Earlier Tirap DC W. Lowang in his address said that PDS streamlining is one of the main agendas of the state government adding that efforts were on at all levels to make PDS effective. DF&CSO threw light on various facets of ePDS thorough talk and video clippings. He also clarified the queries post by the participants. The meeting was attended by DOTC Chairman Y. Matey and HoDs.
With not much scope for wet rice cultivation, the people of Tirap practice shifting cultivation. The meager produce from the Jhumland is hardly sufficient to sustain their livelihood. So, they are totally dependent on Public Distribution System.
The District Administration is according top priority to food security. In order to make PDS efficient, consumer-friendly and error-free, the District Administration and department of Food & Civil Supplies have embarked on an ambitious and innovative venture called ePDS. This is the first of its kind in the whole of Northeast and it is envisaged to use the system as a pilot project which will be subsequently replicated in other districts of the state in the current financial year. The project has evolved after a painstaking effort for the last 2 years by Amit Bengia, DF&CSO and Mayank Premi of Beacons Analytics Pvt. Ltd, Delhi. Both of them had carried out demonstrations on key features and benefits of ePDS at Itanagar and Khonsa during the month of March 2010 to popularize the concept and also to create awareness amongst all stakeholders.
It may be added here that the concept of ePDS was first mooted by former Tirap Deputy Commissioner, Ankur Garg in 2008. After close interaction with the consumers, village elders, Panchayat leaders and NGOs it has been decided to put to practical use, this ePDS. It has been developed with the help of private developers and subject matter experts from Directorate of Food & Civil Supplies, Naharlagun and Prof. Abrahem Koshy of IIM, Ahemedabad.
Tirap district though gripped by insurgency problem has been successful in leading the way in introducing innovative and novel ventures like ePDS that would revolutionize the functioning of TPDS in the state. This pilot project was initially funded by BADP, Wakka under the initiative of present Horticulture Minister Honchun Ngandam. It is worth-mentioning here that the department of Food & Civil Supplies is beset with a plethora of problems like non payment of HTS bills to transporters for last 5 years by FCI leading to countless numbers of litigations, fluctuation in monthly allocation of APL rice from GOI, non availability of stocks in most of FSDs (godowns) of FCI located in Arunachal Pradesh, non establishment of full-fledged FCI Regional office and 3 more district offices etc.

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