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

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Karnataka’s pilot Annapurti rice ATM will be installed in a slum in Bengaluru, to facilitate the poor to avail of rice on tap. Under the central scheme, the automatic grain dispensers will be installed across the country, starting with five locations — in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand, a source in the department told The New Indian Express. 

The Annapurti dispensers are part of the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP), that has been closely working with the Indian government. The World Food Programme was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.In August 2020, TNIE had written about rice ATMs to be started in Karnataka to benefit the poor and plug distribution pilferage.

Food and Civil Supplies 
Minister K Gopalaiah said the Karnataka government is working closely with the Centre to set up the ATMs, and a joint director has been given additional responsibility to follow it up. “We will identify a place which is home to a large number of people from the lower income group, and install it. It will remain open all day long, and people can make use of it accordingly,’’ he said.

According to sources, the rice ATM is expected to come in capacities of 100 kg to 500 kg, and the machine will be installed depending on demand. At present, under the Anna Bhagya scheme, the government is providing rice, grains and other essentials to 1.27 crore families, which adds up to 4.32 crore people per month. The grains are free for BPL card holders, and a nominal sum is charged for APL card holders.“We will give the beneficiaries an ATM card along with biometrics to get their rice quota. This is in the initial stage, once we get the machine, there will be more clarity,’’ he added.

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