Police on Wednesday after receiving a tip-off recovered 74 bags of rice and two bags of flour which were meant for public distribution and were being illegally sold in the black market in Srinagar. It wasn’t a one-off incident since numerous grievances regarding the theft and disappearing of ration from public distribution stores in cahoots with corrupt officials are made every year in the state. However, there is a hike in such incidents whenever the region (mostly the districts in Kashmir) is cutoff with the rest of the state – reason being that commodities like rice, sugar, flour and fuels fetch lot of money when sold in black. In the state, it is primary the responsibility of the Drug and Food Control to keep a close watch on the markets and nab all those who indulge in profiteering or black marketing. Theft of the ration from public distribution stores is a serious concern. The government has been reiterating that it will make public distribution system in the state more transparent and foolproof, but there is hardly any change observed in this direction in the last several years. While introducing Point of Sale machines at couple of distribution centres, a minister of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs said that it was one of the important components of government’s initiative of digitizing the entire FCS&CA department through electronic Public Distribution (ePDS). A year later Director FCS&CA while inspecting the distribution outlets found many fair price shops still operating in offline mode. In July last while reviewing the functioning of FCS&CA, Advisor to Governor K Vijay Kumar stressed on the importance of Electronic Public Distribution System and improving the real time online Grievance Redressal Portal system. Despite the toil, public distribution system in Kashmir has been marred by theft accusations leveled against the officials and poor quality of ration distributed by the department. If it were not the police raids, stealing and black marketing of the ration would not see the light of the day. To stop the evil practice that is illegally selling the ration which is meant to be distributed among the people, concerted efforts are required. FCS&CA department and the Food Control Organization need to put a more robust and reliable mechanism to prevent stealing of the ration from government stores. Grievances of the consumers need to be underlined and people who can provide useful information or inputs about the thefts should be awarded. With the consumers help and an infallible system, theft of ration can be stopped in the state for good.