गुरुवार, 28 जुलाई 2016

State Food Commission is still defunct in Odisha

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  disclosed to public about   State Information Commission designated as State Food Commission  by showing  an outdated  Gazette Notification of October,15.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.
Pradip Pradhan
Date- 28.7.16

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