Plea to resume dry rations to poor under CM corona help scheme, HC seeks AAP govt's stand

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New Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Friday asked the AAP government to reply on a plea seeking directions to it to resume providing dry rations under the Mukhya Mantri Corona Sahayta Yojna (MMCSY) during the curfew imposed in the wake of spiralling COVID-19 cases.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notice to the Delhi government and the urban shelter improvement board, DUSIB, seeking their stand by May 13 on the application by an NGO.

The NGO, Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan, in its application has also sought a direction to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to resume hunger relief centres for providing free hot cooked meals to all those in need so that no one goes hungry during the curfew.

The application, filed through advocate Prasanna S, the NGO has sought directions to the Delhi government to also resume accepting e-coupon applications and to start operating kiosks and help desks facilitating such applications for benefiting all residents not already covered under the regular PDS scheme under the National Food Security Act.

The NGO has said that in view of the restrictions imposed by the Delhi government under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act on the movement of people from April 19 to April 26, the issues of distress and food security of the poor and needy need to be alleviated 'With tighter restrictions, lockdowns and curfews on the anvil, it has therefore become imperative that immediate and urgent directions are needed to alleviate the suffering both in the short term and in the medium term as the pandemic and the declaration of disaster under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act are nowhere close to its end,' the application has said.

The NGO has claimed that it had last week written to the Delhi government to provide free hot cooked meals through homeless shelters and dedicated relief centres and ensure no person desirous of obtaining food is turned away from these centres.

It said it had also asked the government to provide ration to all persons in need of food security, irrespective of whether they possess a ration card and to ensure that all provisions for food security under the National Food Security Act -- the Mid-Day Meal scheme (MDM), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and hot cooked meal for pregnant and lactating women through Anganwadis -- continue without any disruption during this time of crisis.

However, as it received no response to its letter, it filed the instant application in the high court.

The application has been filed by the NGO in its pending petition challenging the decision to link ration cards with Aadhaar. PTI HMP SA