‘Ahar’ scheme unveiled to provide food at Rs 5

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government today announced a food packet scheme of Rs five to serve the urban poor from April 1.

“The poor people in five urban pockets like Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, Berhampur and Rourkela will be provided with ‘Bhat-Dalma’ at the cost of only Rs 5,” a State government spokesman said after attending a high-level meeting chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

Stating that poor people visiting different cities and towns for various works face difficulties in getting food due to high price, the spokesman said the state government would open ‘Ahar’ centres at different bus stands, railway stations, hospitals and other crowded places.

“People can avail the lunch at subsidised price. NGOs having experience in handling food related schemes will be assigned the job of distributing food to the poor in urban areas,” he said, adding, the food and supplies, housing and urban development would provide required infrastructure.

Health inspectors of different municipal corporations would check quality of food being provided at the proposed ‘Ahar’ centres and different corporate houses would support the cheap food schemes in urban pockets, he said.

The cheap food scheme would be extended to other towns subsequently keeping in view the success of ‘Ahar’ centres in the five cities, a statement issued by the chief minister’s office said.