PMC nullifies mid-day meal contract of TAPF
Decision comes in wake of State’s order to implement central kitchen concept
PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) bid to outsource the mid-day meal programme to a Bengaluru-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF) has been cancelled as the State government has decided to implement the central kitchen concept for mid-day meal for government schools across the state.
Shivaji Daundkar, PMC Education Officer, said, “In the general body meeting of PMC held in February, the proposal to award the mid-day meal programme to Akshaya Patra was approved. Agreeing to the contract, TAPF said that they will provide mid-day meal from December 2019. However, according to the recent State government order, to implement central kitchen concept to prepare and deliver mid-day meal, we have invited Expression of Interest. Hence, we conveyed the organisation that they should take part in the central kitchen contract. We also told them that we cannot give the contract to mid-day meal as per general body meeting proposal. Now, they have shown interest in the new central kitchen contract and they will take part in the new tender process,” he added.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has also suggested the name of The Akshay Patra Foundation as it was providing good quality mid-day meal to schools run by
Nagpur Municipal Corporation and Thane Municipal Corporation.
The mid-day meal scheme is a school meal programme of the Government of India designed to improve the nutritional standing of school-age children nationwide.
The programme supplies free lunches on working days for children in primary and upper primary classes in government schools.
Mid-day meal scheme had been implemented across the country since 1997-98.
Under the government mid-day meal programme, the State government has fixed Rs 4.13 per student of standards I to V and Rs 6.18 per students of standards VI to VIII for the meal.
The government has fixed a menu for every day based on calories.
CONCEPT OF THE CENTRAL KITCHEN
A firm will bear the cost of preparing quality mid-day meal (MDM) at a centralised kitchen and deliver it to the respective schools. The step is being taken to curb the irregularities in the mid-day meal scheme.