Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Tuesday decided to set up Aahar centres in 57 urban localities spread over 29 districts by February 25.

A decision to this effect was taken during a videoconferencing of chief minister Naveen Patnaik with the district collectors at the State Secretariat here.

The chief minister directed the collectors to complete all infrastructure work, including provision for transportation of food to the Aahar centre, training of the staff to be engaged in the scheme, sanitation and drinking water supply, by February 25.

About 30,300 meals would be prepared in 57 centres every day.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Urban Development minister Pushpendra Singhdeo said almost all districts have expedited their work and selected the agencies for implementation of the scheme.

“The chief minister has given instructions to the district collectors to sort out any problems relating to the scheme before February 25, he said.

The scheme was launched by the chief minister in Bhubaneswar on April 1 last year to provide meals to the poor and daily wage labourers in urban areas at a cheap rate of Rs 5 per meal.

Presently, the scheme benefits more than 22,000 people across 21 centers in five cities in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Berhampur and Rourkela.

The state government has entrusted the responsibility to Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) for Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) for Rourkela, Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) for Sambalpur and Tata Steel for Berhampur.

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