Karnataka: 1. 6 lakh waiting for ration cards for two years, miss health insurance | Bengaluru News

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BENGALURU : About 1. 6 lakh people below the poverty line — all eligible beneficiaries — have been denied benefits under the state’s Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka (AB-ArK) health assurance scheme because they could not get a ration card on time.
While their credentials were verified, they have been waiting for nearly two years to be enrolled in the scheme which provides Rs 5 lakh per year towards hospitalisation costs per beneficiary family.

TIMES VIEW

Authorities have periodically weeded out bogus ration cards, with more than three lakh illegal cards being cancelled in March this year. And yet the issue continues to remain a huge bugbear — to the point that people are being denied funds for medical treatment. The city and country have made giant strides in technology, and yet servers in government departments do not function. It is a sad situation and one that needs to be rectified immediately. If the government has hit a wall, it should not shy away from roping in domain experts to resolve the problem.

D Randeep commissioner of health and family welfare said BPL families must have an Aadhaar-linked ration card to be eligible for ABArK benefits. But technical issues have denied these beneficiaries a ration card.
The snag comes at a time when the health department is looking to issue AB-ArK cards to all ration card holders by March 31. The department aims to cover 50% of ration card holders by December and chief minister Basavaraj Bommai is likely to be present at a function to mark the milestone.
But a source in the food and civil supplies department, which issues ration cards, said their servers operate for only a few hours a day, and many who show up withall the documents — gathered after a huge struggle — are unable to register. Mohan, a service provider, says some 50% of people who apply for a ration card do not get it because of this issue.
Illegal cards
Data from the food and civil services department also shows many eligible beneficiaries cannot get a ration card because of the high number of ineligible people who have acquired BPL ration cards. Of the more than 2. 7 lakh existing applications, only 1. 5 lakh were found to be eligible.
“These numbers are way over the Centre’s target to provide people with food grains,” a source said. “Benefits for the excess beneficiaries will have to be funded by the state and for that we need state government approval for an additional budget. A proposal was sent to the government in September this year. ”
Kanagavalli M, commissioner, food and civil supplies department, said a file has been approved and a government order will be issued soon. The department will begin issuing ration cards after that.



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