बुधवार, 14 मार्च 2018

A Report Card on Performance of Odisha Food Commission


Performance  of Odisha State Food Commission - A Report Card

After a protracted fight of Activists against the decision of State Govt. designating Odisha Information Commission as State Food Commission citing  inefficiency of Information Commissioners and pilling  of  more 8000 cases for disposal and demanding its immediate withdrawal, the State Govt. constituted  State Food Commission under 16 of National Food Security  Act  vide notification dated 15.3.16.  A 3-member Commission has  already   completed  two years of its  functioning.

As per the Act, the commission has a mandate to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in the State and implementation of  mostly  three  prominent food security schemes like Targeted Public Distribution System, Integrated Child Development Services and Mid Day Meal. Besides that the  Commission  has the power ----------
a.  inspect or cause to be inspected, the non-compliance of policy decisions of the Government relating to NFSA.
b.  either suo motu or on receipt of complaint inquire into violations of entitlement,
c.  hear appeals against orders of the District Grievance Redressal Officer; and
d. give advice to the State Government, their agencies, autonomous bodies as well as non-governmental organisations involved in delivery of relevant services for the effective implementation of food and nutrition related schemes, to enable individuals to fully access their entitlements specified in this Act,
e.   organise regional camps to build awareness about benefits and entitlements under the Act; and
f.  define measures for redressal of grievances in three implementing departments i.e. FS&CW, W&CD and S&ME.  

Keeping in view mandate of the Commission, its  power and functions  under NFSA,  A Review  exercise   about  two years’ performance of State Food Commission  was exercised  by  Right to Food Campaign, Odisha (  a Civil Society Forum spearheading  campaign  for realization of  food security for all and   fighting for elimination of hunger  in the state  ) with the following objectives.
· How the Commission has been successful to observe its mandate to enforce the effective implementation of various provisions of the Act.
· How the Commission has been successful to enforce   availability of entitlements at the door-step of the beneficiaries.
· How the Commission has been effective  to provide justice  to the victims.
 While assessing performance of the Commission from the perspective of inquiry, hear and disposal of cases of violation of NFSA and   rendering justice to the beneficiaries deprived of their entitlements, the Team   has relied  on  Information obtained  under RTI   supplied by the PIO of State Food Commission, Bhubaneswar ( incomplete information was supplied  by the PIO for which First appeal has been filed)  and the Annual Report of the Commission webhosted  in their website.

On 17.1.18. RTI Application was filed   by Sri Bhawani Nanda, retired Banker and RTI Activist and Member of the Team  to the PIO, office of State Food Commission  seeking  the following information from 2016 to 2018.

i. Provide information about  details of number of  cases of violation of provision of NFSA  suo moto taken up by Commission as per the following format
Case No
Subject matter of case
Date of registration of the case by the Commission
 Date of notice/ direction issued
Action taken





ii. Provide information about no. of  complaint cases    filed  in the Commission  as per the following format
Complaint case registered and date of registration
Subject matter of  Complaint
Name of  complaint
Date of notice/direction issued  and action taken by the authority




iii. Provide information about details of hearing of the cases  conducted   by the Commission  as per the following format
Date of hearing
Case No.
Subject matter of  complaint
 Name of the persons present  in the hearing with members of the Commission
Decision of the Commission, if any with date.





iv. Provide details of monitoring made  by Chairman  and members of the Commission as per the following format
Date
Places visited
Purpose
Name of members of Commission
 Action taken by the Commission





2. Assessment of   Information supplied under RTI     

In response  to RTI Application, The PIO   supplied  the information which were  found incomplete  is as follows.

i. Information about  details of number of  cases of violation of provision of NFSA  suo motto taken up by Commission.
Case No
Subject matter of case
Date of registration of the case by the Commission
 Date of notice/ direction issued
Action taken
01/FC(S)2016
Disruption of MDM in Pandaba Patana U.P. School in Tangi Block of Khordha District
23.09.2016
21.11.2016
Penalty of Rs.5000/- imposed on 9 persons on 10-1-2017
02/FC(S)2016
As many as 40 students of Palikiri Nodal U.P. School, Bhagabanpur Panchayat of Dhamnagar Block fell ill on 09.09.2016 after eating Mid Day Meal
31.10.16
3.11.16
Hearing fixed for 27-12-16. Details of hearing and final decision not supplied
\04/FC(S)2016
As many as 25 students of Satyanarayan U.P. School, Kotkana GP – Tarjang, Block – Tirtol, Dist. Jagatsinghpur fell ill on 07.11.16 after taking Mid Day Meal.
10.11.2016
17.11.2016
Hearing fixed for 27-12-16. Details of hearing and final decision not supplied
05/FC(S)2016
As many as 34 students of Arteswar U.P. School, Jagannathpur, Nahanga Panchayat of Derabis Block fell ill on 16-11-2016 after eating Mid Day Meal.
22.11.16
1.12.16
Hearing fixed for 20-12-16. Details of hearing and final decision not supplied
 (ii)               Information about no. of  complaint cases    filed  in the Commission.
Complaint case registered and date of registration
Subject matter of  complaint
 Name of the Complainant 
Date of notice/direction issued and action taken by the authority
03/OSFC/2016
As many as 70 children have already died due to outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis, Maladministration, collapse of health delivery service, food insecurity in Malkangiri District.
Sri Pradip Pradhan, Plot No.D-27, Maitree Vihar, PO – Rail Vihar, Bhubaneswar
Hearing fixed for 20-12-16. Details of hearing and final decision not supplied

(iii)             Details of cases heard  by Chairman  and members of the Commission
Date of hearing
Case No.
Subject matter of complaint
Name of the person present in the hearing with the Members of the Commission
Decision of the the Commission if any with date
25.10.16,  5.11.16,  22.12.16
01/FC(S)/2016
Disruption of MDM in Pandaba Patana U.P. School in Tangi Block of Khordha District
Shri Niranjan Sahoo, I.A.S., (Collector, Khordha), Sri Gangadhar Sahoo, State Nodal Officer (MDM), Sri Brundaban Satpathy, DEO, Khordha, Sri Maheswar Sahoo, BEO, Tangi, Sri PurnaChandra Mishra CRCC, Tangi, Smt. Soubhagini Debi, Headmistress, Pandabapatana U.P. School, Smt. Manjulata Dei, Assistant Teacher, Pandaba Patana Primary School, Bijaya Kumar Kandi, President, SMC
Penalty of Rs.5000/- imposed on 9 persons on 10-1-2017
06.12.2016
02/SFC (S)-2016
As many as 40 students of Palikiri Nodal U.P. School, Bhagabanpur Panchayat of Dhamnagar Block fell ill on 09.09.2016 after eating Mid Day Meal
Sri Gangadhar Sahoo, SNO (MDM), Sri Ranjan Kumar Giri, DEO, Sri Pabitra Mohan Barik, BEO, Dhamanagar, Sri Niranjan Kar, ABEO(MDM), Dhamnagar, MD, Imran, Headmaster Palikiri Nodal UP School, Sri Gouranga Das, Chairperson, SMC, Palikiri Nodal UP School.
Hearing fixed for 27-12-16. Details of hearing and final decision not supplied
25.10.2016,
8.12.2016
03/SFC (S)2016
As many as 70 children have already died due to outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis, Maladministration, collapse of health delivery service, food insecurity in Malkangiri District.
Dr.Parag Harsh Gavil,IAS, PD,DRDA,Malkangiri, Sri Ramkrishna Ganda, P.A., ITDA, Malkangiri, Smt. Prative Kusum Barik, DSWO, Malkangiri, Smt. Bidyutlata Patra, CDPO, ICDS, Kalimela, Smt Annapurna Buruda, CDPO, ICDS, Korakunda, Sri Biranchi Narayan Daran, BDO, Malkangiri
Hearing fixed for 20-12-16. Details of hearing and final decision not supplied

Remarks  
A.   Within two years of its performance , the  Commission  has    taken up  only  four cases  suo moto  and  one  complaint  case filed  by Sri Pradip Pradhan for inquiry.
B.    The Commission has heard only five cases and No information about whether   the case is disposed and final decision announced except case no. 01/FC(S)/2016.  But disposal of complaint case of Pradip Pradhan on Child Death in Malkangiri filed in 2016 is  still  pending.
C.   The Commission miserably failed to supply the copy of the proceedings of the hearing and order of the Commission. Astonishingly,  the judgement  of one case 01/FC(S)/2016 is  found in the website of Commission.
D.   it is observed that in one of the 5 cases i.e. in case No. 01/FC(S)2016,  penalty of Rs.5000/- was imposed on 9 persons  including Smt. Ranjana Chopra, IAS, the then Commissioner-cum-Secretary to Government, School & Mass Education Department and Shri Niranjan Sahoo, IAS,  the then Collector, Khordha. But  the information about whether penalty  has been  collected  from them   has not  been supplied  by the Commission.  
E.   The information about details of  the visit of the Commission as part of their monitoring of  food security programme  has not  been supplied  by the office of  Commission.
F.    While  analyzing  the Annual Report  of the Commission, it  was observed that the Commission has issued  a number of advisories, directions and  recommendations  to various  departments  and district administration for effective implementation of the Act  and also  in respect of  disposal of cases of  complaint on denial of ration card within stipulated time period, identification of  extreme poor eligible Household who have not applied  for Ration  card due to their ignorance and provide them ration card, installation of  dedicated Toll free number in the Dept. to register complaints relating to PDS, SNP, MDM, ICDS etc.,
G.   The Commission has also made review and monitoring of execution of various orders in respect of implementation of the Act at various level and also making field visit to different areas.
Member of Team  of Right to Food Campaifn, Odisha
Pradip Pradhan, M-9937843482
Sri Bhawani Nanda
Sri Srikant Pakal
 Date- 14.3.18

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