MUMBAI: The Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s ambitious Shiv Bhojan scheme is set to expand. The government has decided to increase the numbers of centres to 500 from 139 and the number of plates served to one lakh from 18,000 per day. This expansion will put an extra burden of Rs 125 crore annually on the State government.
The Rs 10 meal has found a huge response as on the first day (January 26). 11,147 plates, as against a target of 18,000 plates per day, were served in 122 canteens spread over 35 districts. On the second day (January 27) 13,500 plates were served. In Pune, 1,114 plates were served and 2,419 plates on the second day.
The scheme, launched on an experimental basis, could not take off in Yavatmal due to code of conduct for the legislative council election.
The meal is served between noon and 2 pm in the canteens identified by the State government. They are supposed to serve 500 plates per day. Initially, 50 outlets/canteens have been opened. The government wants to increase this number in due course. The lunch plates or ‘thalis’ comprise two chapattis, a vegetable, rice and dal.
“The goal of the scheme is to provide affordable and quality food at Rs 10 per plate. The scheme has been started in district headquarters,” said Minister of Food and Civil Supplies Chhagan Bhujbal.
He also informed that the government has earmarked Rs 6.48 crore for three months for the scheme and it will be increased up to Rs 125 crore.
A department official said while the customer gets a plate at Rs 10, its actual cost is Rs 50 in urban areas and Rs 35 in rural areas. The government is giving the balance amount as a grant to the district collectorate. He said that the demand is quite high in urban areas compared to rural.
- On the first day (January 26), 11,147 plates, as against a target of 18,000 plates per day, were served in 122 canteens.
- On the second day (January 27) 13,500 plates were served.