Berhampur: The subsided meal being provided to urban poor under Aahar scheme launched by Odisha Government will have an extra item here.
Food served under the Rs 5 per meal scheme at Old Bus Stand, New Bus Stand, MKCG Medical College and Hospital and near the railway station here would have pickle, ‘pampad’ or ‘bari’ apart from routine rice and dalma.
The scheme was launched yesterday in five places – Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Sambalpur and Berhampur.
In Berhampur, Hyderabad-based Manna Trust prepares and serves the subsidised meal. Berhampur Municipal Corporation is providing infrastructure, official sources said, adding, the trust has engaged six suppliers with 1,000 steel plates at each counter.
“The trust has agreed in principle to provide an extra item, pickle, bari or pampad, every day,” said BMC Commissioner Anjana Panda, clarifying that no agreement has been signed in this regard.
The trust is currently supplying midday meals to schools in five blocks in Ganjam district and the areas under the corporation.
The state government recently released Rs 60 lakh for improving infrastructure of the places where food under Aahar scheme is being served. “The funds were used to make the places suitable for eating purpose with drinking water facility,” said the commissioner.
Long queues could be seen at the four counters here.
“The 1,000 plates were consumed before the 3 pm deadline,” said a counter boy at Old Bus Stand.
“Earlier, we had to shell out Rs 50 a meal every day.
Thanks to the government, food has become affordable,” said Niranjan, a farm labourer from Gobindapur. He was in the city to witness the ongoing Thakurani Yatra festival.
Passengers alighting at the railway station thronged to the counter in large numbers. “I came from Hyderabad. I was not aware of the scheme. Some people led me to the Aahar counter,” said Sushant Nayak.