HC directs collectors to ensure quality of food schemes

Cuttack: High Court on Tuesday directed all of them to ensure that good quality food is supplied under the welfare schemes like MDM, SNP and EFP.

Allowing the government to file a detail counter affidavit to the main writ petition filed by Dilip Mohapatra, the high court also directed the state government to ensure that proper drinking water facilities are available in all the 9543 anganwadi centres of the state.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice V Gopal Gowda and Justice B N Mohapatra adjudicating over the petition for last two months has posted the matter to be heard next on March 29 by which date the state government shall have to file the counter affidavit.

Earlier in an interim affidavit, the women and child development secretary Arti Ahuja informed the court that reports of supply of inferior quality of dal were received from Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Ganjam, Jajpur, Kandhamal, Sundargarh, Kendrapara and Boudh districts where the matter is under vigilance investigation.

She also swore in the affidavit that no complaint has been received by the department regarding supply of adulterated dal in other 22 districts adding that steps have been taken by the department to pursue the Collectors to organise checks from time to time to ensure supply of good quality of dal in all the food schemes.

Ahuja also told the HC that the department has initiated a move to decentralise the procurement process of food materials for the concerned schemes from April 1 as per the direction of Supreme Court in which it has been said that contractors shall not be involved for supply of nutritional foods.