Fani-hit Aahar centres in Silver city to resume from Monday

Bhubaneswar:  The State government’s flagship cheap meal scheme, Aahar, will resume services in the Silver city from Monday. The Aahar centres in Cuttack that implement the cheap meal scheme have stopped functioning since May 3 – the day of landfall of extremely severe cyclone Fani near Puri.

As per reports, the disruption in the cheap meal scheme in the city has been blamed on cyclone Fani. The functionaries at Aahar centres reveal that kitchen sheds of Akshaya Patra Foundation, which supplies cooked meals to the Aahar centres in the city, were damaged by gusty winds of Fani. Sources, however, indicated that as the damaged sheds of the Foundation have been restored and are made operational, the cheap meal scheme will resume for the needy from tomorrow.

However, as per Additional DM, Srikant Tarai, the district administration has made alternate arrangements for resuming the Aahar scheme in Cuttack. “District administration has roped in alternate NGOs to supply cooked food to the Aahar centres. The cheap meal scheme will become operational in the city from Monday,” he informed.

Aahar Yojana provides cooked rice and dalma at Rs 5 in State’s urban areas. The State government is providing a subsidy of Rs 15 per meal. And the subsidy amount is being sourced as CSR funds sponsored by Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) in Rourkela and Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) in Sambalpur.

The scheme proved a boon for the poor and needy coming for treatment at SCB Hospital in Cuttack and daily wagers/labourers alike. But the disruption has hit them the hardest.

“As hotels charge Rs 50 or more for a meal, we have to skip our lunch and take biscuits and water, instead. It’s so because the rate charged are not affordable for us,” said Prakash Sethi, relative of a patient.