The Karnataka government is planning to install rice-dispensing machines for ration cardholders. These machines, ‘Rice ATM’, will be set up in various places over the state.
According to the Karnataka Minister for Food and Civil Supplies K Gopalaiah, Rice ATMs will be placed to ensure 24X7 rice availability to those who possess ration cards. The people no longer need to wait in long queues in front of ration shops.
The idea of setting up Rice ATM’s came from Vietnam and Indonesia. Here authorities have set up rice-dispensing machines to provide free rice to their citizens during the Pandemic crisis.
K Gopalaiah said, “The department will set up two rice ATMs in the state to check the feasibility of the initiative, later if the project is a success the same will be extended across the state.” The minister says that Rice ATMs will be beneficial for Below Poverty Line (BPL) people.
To make Rice ATM’s available for public usage, the government is also considering a smart card similar to bank ATMs.
Earlier, the Karnataka government had set up drinking water ATMs across the state. According to the government, there are over 1,800 water dispensing ATMs in the state.
Local authorities have appointed about two to three caretakers to ensure smooth operations in these ATM’s and the expenses are managed by the total amount received by the sales at the water ATMs.