CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Food and Civil Supplies Department is planning to introduce QR code on PDS rice bags that are being transported from its godowns to prevent the interstate smuggling of PDS rice to bordering states like Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
Officers with the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation told IANS that the department will be introducing QR codes on each and every PDS rice bags that are coming out of the godowns.
The Civil Supplies department has been in the dock over several ration shops not receiving the rice being transported from godowns. Incidents of rice smuggled from Tamil Nadu and caught from Kerala and Andhra Pradesh territories have led the department to take cognisance of the matter and ensure that the rice is reaching the ration shops.
A senior official with the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation told IANS: 'The QR codes that would be made available on each PDS rice bag would ensure that the rice bags are reaching the ration shops only and that no middlemen are scouting the bags to be sold in black market.'
In addition to this, high-end and technologically superior GPS would be installed in the trucks that are ferrying the PDS rice bags from the godowns to the ration shops.
Rice was being smuggled to Andhra Pradesh in two-wheelers through by-lanes after purchasing rice from ration card holders at low rates. The Tamil Nadu police have already arrested 11,091 persons and seized commodities worth Rs 11. 3 crore between May 7, 2021, and August 30, 2022.
While rice is being smuggled to Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, the rice mill owners denied having any involvement in the smuggling and blamed truck drivers and cleaners to be behind this to make fast bucks.