Over 2 lakh people apply for inclusion in Below Poverty Line list

Ruling party functionaries distribute forms to people, submit them in bulk: sources

The number of applications the Coimbatore Corporation has received for inclusion in the below poverty line (BPL) list has touched 2.26 lakh. That is almost half the houses in city.

This means that every second house in the city has a family that comes under the BPL category. Or this is what the number of applications the Corporation had received as of Saturday evening conveys.

The Corporation has been receiving applications from people seeking inclusion in the BPL list of families to be eligible for the State Government’s one-time, special financial assistance of ₹ 2,000 that the Chief Minister announced in the Assembly a few weeks ago.

When the Corporation started the work to identify the 64,898 families it had in the BPL list of 2004, it could identify only less than 20% of those. As the Corporation and local bodies across the State complained of similar problem, the government asked all local bodies to collect applications from families for inclusion in the list.

The Corporation sources said that ruling party functionaries at the ward level printed the applications, distributed to people in their wards, in a few cases filled the details on their behalf and submitted the filled-in forms in bulk.

The Corporation’s form collection centres saw the ruling party members submit applications in thousands.

A former councillor of the Corporation says that he gave the forms to almost all houses in his ward, collected and submitted those to the civic body officials.

He did not see if they were from below or above the poverty line as he wanted everybody to get the ₹ 2,000 special financial assistance.

Of the 2.26 lakh applications collected, the Corporation has so far uploaded 46,254 and was adding nearly 5,000 applications every day.

The Corporation officials say that as per the government’s instruction, their job was to only upload the applications and not scrutinise them for being above or below the poverty line. But they were aware that the city’s 50% houses would not come under the BPL list.

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