Rs 5-lunch scheme ‘Aahar’ to be extended to each district HQs

Bhubaneswar: State government’s Aahar scheme, which aims to provide lunch at Rs 5 to the urban poor, will be extended to more areas in a phased manner. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik who reviewed the scheme today has directed the district collectors to implement this scheme in each district headquarters and industrial townships.

The chief minister laid emphasis on cleanliness of Aahar centres and provision for supply of clean drinking water.

During the meeting, it was also decided to set up a society for the expansion of the scheme. According to sources, the society will be headed by the chief secretary at the State level and the collector at the district level. The scheme will be implemented with financial assistance from funding agencies.

“We are planning to implement it in district headquarters and industrial towns with the help of eligible funding agencies,” said Urban development minister Pushpendra Singhdeo adding that the CM has also ordered development of infrastructure such as water facilities, CCTV camera for surveillance, facilities for handicapped people among others at the exiting Aahar outlets.

Notably, the scheme is currently being implemented in 5 cities and is benefitting around 22,000 people.
The scheme was launched by the CM in April this year. The State government has engaged State public sector units (PSU) for implementation of cheap meal program.

Notably, the state government has launched Aahar scheme in five major cities in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela and Sambalpur since April 1 this year to provide meals comprising rice and dalma to about 22,000 urban poor including those coming to the urban areas in search of work.

A total of 21 centres near the bus stands, hospitals and railway stations of these five cities have been set up for this purpose.

For proper supervision and smooth management of the scheme, the state government has entrusted well-known NGOs.