Last month, NDTV reported how more than 26,000 households in Delhi were being deprived of food because of the government's decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for obtaining rations. Connectivity issues in biometric machines and fingerprint mismatch were a common occurence.
A day after the report, Mr Kejriwal had taken note of the glitches in the system and called an emergency meeting with the Food Minister and Food Commissioner to review the situation.
In the weeks since, the Food Minister carried out field visits to several ration shops and found loopholes in the system. Ration will now be distributed according to the older system under which the card holder is simply required to sign in the shopkeeper's register after picking up the week's supplies from the Fair Price shops.
Mr Sisodia said the implementation of the electronic Point of Sale (e-PoS) devices by the Ration Department was "different" from Delhi Cabinet's decision last month on making Aadhaar linking mandatory for ration distribution in all 2,254 fair price shops from January 1. The aim of the decision was to stop pilferage of food. Instead, the system was leading to genuine beneficiaries getting deprived of rations, he said.
The Aadhaar-based e-PoS machines use biometric identification to ensure that card-holders get their allotted share of foodgrain.
The faulty implementation of the system caused huge problems to the people, Mr Sisodia said. "This system will be put to halt and we will continue distribution like the previous arrangement so there is no hindrance for the public to get commodities," the minister said.
Over the next two months, the government plans to implement a system of doorstep-delivery of rations. Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash has been ordered to get a cabinet note in this regard within a week.