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Odidha to extend Rs 5 'Aahar' scheme to Districts
By Input from Agencies  Published on: 01-Nov-2015 08:24:04
Place: Bhubaneswar
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Bhubaneswar: The State Government has decided to extend the A cheap meal scheme 'Aahar' to district headquarters towns and different industrial areas in a phased manner.

Odidha to extend Rs 5 'Aahar' scheme to Districts

A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Secretariat on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Opposition political parties Congress and BJP have criticised the decision to extend the scheme to new areas as it cannot solve the problem of hunger.

The State Government decided to set up 'Aahar' societies, one at State-level headed by Chief Secretary and in district-level led by Collectors. The scheme will be implemented with financial assistance from funding agencies, Urban Development Minister Pushpendra Singhdeo told mediapersons.

"We are planning to implement it in district headquarters hospitals and industrial towns with the help of eligible funding agencies," Singhdeo said, adding that the Chief Minister has also ordered development of infrastructure such as water facilities, CCTV camera for surveillance, facilities for handicapped people among others at the existing 'Aahar' outlets.

The State Government on April 1 had opened 21 'Aahar' centres in five cities like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Berhampur and Sambalpur where at least 22,000 poor people are being fed rice and dal at the rate of Rs  five a plate.

'Aahar' outlets will be opened at bus stands, Collectorates and hospitals in the district headquarters towns. Official sources said the cost of a meal will be Rs 15 or a little higher. The Government will subsidise Rs 10 per meal which will work out to around Rs 50 crore per year.

The scheme will be funded from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund (CMRF) or financial assistance from corporate houses.

Management of the outlets will be outsourced to Non-government Organisations (NGOs) having experience in this field. Food Supply and Consumer Welfare and Housing and Urban Development departments will provide infrastructure support for running the scheme.

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