Odisha News Insight

Odisha to provide Rs. 5 Meal ‘Aahar’ to Poor in Urban Areas

imageIn order to provide an affordable meal in five urban areas of the state, the Odisha government is all set to introduce “Aahar” scheme from this April. Under the scheme, the government would provide a meal for five rupees to the urban poor in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Berhampur and Rourkela.

The menu of the meal will comprise plain rice and dalma (a combination of dal and vegetables).

Taking a cue from Tamil Nadu, the government has decided to open Aahar centres (canteens) at bus stops, railway stations, collectorate and hospitals in the five urban areas. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on Monday.

The poor people coming to the cities can avail the Rs.5 meal only during lunch time while the government will make arrangements to provide meals to 25,000 people daily, a chief minister’s office (CMO) release said.

According to the meeting, corporate houses would provide assistance for the scheme while the state’s food supply and consumer welfare department and the urban development department would set up the necessary infrastructure.

The scheme would be expanded to other urban areas in the coming years if it is successful in the cities, the official added.

“These initiatives have been called populist. But this model of providing affordable cooked food in urban areas ensure food security and also keeps food prices in check,” an official said. (IANS)

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