The State government on Monday distributed cash aid of ₹1,000 to 28.01% of the rice ration cardholders in the five Civil Supplies districts — Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, North Chennai, South Chennai and Tiruvallur — where a “complete lockdown” is in place to control the spread of COVID-19.

“There are 2,320 ration shops in these districts and they serve 22,62,168 cardholders. On Monday alone, 6,33,548 cardholders were given the money,” sources in the secretariat told The Hindu.

“Workers of the rations shops visited directly to the houses of ration cardholders and distributed the money. Since the Chief Minister was very particular about ensuring that the money reached the people in time, officials are paying extra attention to the issue,” said Revenue Minister R.B. Udhayakumar.

Asked about complaints that in some places cardholders were asked to visit the ration shops and physical distancing norms were thrown to the winds, Mr Udhayakumar said when the government received information about this, it immediately directed the officials to follow the direction of the government.

“There are 15 senior officials in-charge of the 15 zones in Chennai and they set things right immediately. The Corporation is also closely monitoring the situation,” he further said.

Mr. Udhayakumar said the objective of the government was to cover all the beneficiaries before the lockdown is lifted.

Asked whether similar financial assistance would be extended to Madurai and other areas where also a week’s “complete lockdown” would take effect from June 24, he said the government order for it was yet to be issued.

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