Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday inaugurated 38 new Aahar centres – the state government’s low cost canteen scheme – in 17 districts, raising the statewide tally to 157.
Under the Aahar initiative, which was launched April 1, 2015, one lakh meals are presently being served to people. Lunch, comprising ‘dalma’ and rice, is sold for as little as Rs 5 a plate.
The canteens are aimed at people visiting the urban areas. The Aahar canteens are now available in all the 114 urban pockets of Odisha.
“Aahar is a popular scheme and it is very pleasing that the total number of centres operating under it has gone up to 157 in the state today. Now, all urban areas in the state have been covered under the scheme with 56 hospital campuses getting the facility,” Patnaik said.
Aahaar centres located near hospitals provide night meals while the rest serve food only during the day time.
Of the 38 new Aahar centres, one is located in the campus of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) near Sijua.
The Aahar scheme is a subsidised food programme of the government. The actual cost of the dalma-rice meal is around Rs 20, while people pay only Rs 5 for it. The state government extends Rs 15 as subsidy per plate.
The Aahar centres provide food at the designated places at 11 am to 3 pm every day. The night meals are served from 7 pm to 9 pm in all the Aahar centres located in hospital campuses.