State Food Commission is still defunct in Odisha
(A Case of Maladministration of Nabin Patnaik Govt. in Odisha )
It may be recalled that in the month of January, 2016, the state Govt. disclosed to public about State Information Commission designated as State Food Commission by showing an outdated Gazette Notification of October,15. During that time, the opposition political parties and Civil Society Groups criticised the Govt. for keeping the people in dark about functioning of State Food Commission. RTI Activists opposed decision of the State Govt. for designating State Information Commission to function as State Food Commission on the ground that the Information Commission is already overburdened with pendency of 6000 cases.
However, after long fight, the State Govt. was compelled to issue advertisement seeking application for the post of Chairman and members of State Food Commission in Feb. 2016. Finally a full-fledged State Food Commission was constituted with appointment of Chairman and two members on 9.5.16.
It is worth to mention here that more than 4000 complaint cases on denial of entitlements under NFSA ( National Food Security Act) have been filed in State Food Commission since January 2016.
RTI Application was filed to the PIO, Dept. of Food Supply and Consumer Welfare , Govt. of Odisha seeking information about details of functioning of State Food omission and details of cases disposed by them within two months of their functioning. On 22.7.16, the PIO has supplied the following information.
1. The State Food Commission is located at Toshali Plaza, Satya Nagar, Bhubaneswar. The space provided to state Food Commission is under renovation. At present, the following supporting staff has been provided to run the Commission:
a. Member Secretary-1
b. Administrative Officer-1
c. Section Officer-1
d. Assistant Section Officer-2
2. Within period of two months of their functioning, a conference of RDC, Southern Division, concerned Collectors, Project Directors , DRDA was held on 23.6.2016 at Conference Hall of RDC, Berhampur to review the progress of implementation of NFSA.
1. Though State Food Commission was constituted since October.2015, not a single case has been heard or disposed by Commission till yet.
2. More than 4000 complaint cases are pending in Commission for disposal.
3. If Salary and allowances of Chairman and two members for two months is calculated, it will be around 6 lakhs which is a big loss to state exchequer.
4. It must be remembered that the primary work of the Commission is hear complaint and render justice to deprived one.
5. Though corruption and irregularities in respect of distribution of Ration card and deprivation of genuine families from list of Priority Households in the state has become order of the day, State Food Commission is sitting idle without doing anything.
6. It is needless to mention here that the selection Committee has not given any justification about their competency and efficiency while selecting these persons for the post of Chairman and Members of Commission and why other applicants are less competent to them which has been exposed through RTI.