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Karnataka’s first ‘rice ATM’ to shortly come up in a Bengaluru slum

According to Karnataka Minister for Food and Civil Supplies K Gopalaiah, the Rice ATMs will be beneficial for BPL cardholders, who don’t find time to go to the PDS center during working hours.

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Karnataka’s first rice dispensing machine or ‘rice ATM’ will appear in one of the slum areas in Bengaluru in the following few months, state Minister for Food and Civil Supplies K Gopalaiah announced.

Declared in September, the initiative is an aspect of the Centre’s pilot project ‘Annapurti’, that is being enforced in close partnership with the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP).

The WEP, which received the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, has been operating closely with the Government in carrying out reforms in the Public Distribution System (PDS).

Image source: Reuters

The minister announced that Rice ATMs will be helpful for Below Poverty Line (BPL) cardholders, who do not find space to go to the Public Distribution System (PDS) centres during working hours.

“We will identify a slum with a large number of people and install it. It will be very useful for the poor people since it will remain open 24X7 with rice availability, and people can make use of it accordingly and will potentially do away with the need to wait in long queues in front of ration shops,” Gopalaiah told.

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State Minister for Food and Civil Supplies K Gopalaiah /Image source: Asianetnews

The machines are anticipated to browse the malpractices in the Public Distribution System and can dispense two commodities at a speed of 25 per 1.3 minutes. Each of these dispensers has a built-in depository capacity of 200-500 kg. The person who requires rice should put a coin in the machine, and the rice will be distributed.

The Karnataka government has been providing 5 kg of rice per month under the Anna Bhagya scheme to every member of a BPL family since 2013 and the Above Poverty Level (APL) family members get rice for Rs 15 per kg.

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WFP has been working closely with the government in carrying out reforms in the Public Distribution System.

Gopalaiah said that the government had nominated an officer to look after this program and follow up with the Centre and WFP to set up the Rice ATM.

” In another few months, the ATM will be ready, and the first rice-dispensing machine will be set up in one of the slum areas in Bengaluru,” he told.

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Image source: Reuters

These automatic grain dispensing machines are going to be set up in five areas across five states – Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana. To make rice ATM’s convenient for municipal usage, the government is also contemplating a smart card or a biometric system similar to bank ATMs.

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