PMC will provide mid-day meals through central kitchen

ST CORRESPONDENT
Friday, 26 April 2019

In the initial stage, the government gave responsibility to Local Self Help Groups to supply mid-day meals to students. However, there were lots of complaints from schools and parents about substandard food.

PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will provide mid-day meals to students through a central kitchen. This will start this academic year after withdrawal of Lok Sabha election Model Code of Conduct on May 2. The PMC will start a tender process for the central kitchen. 

The municipal commissioner will hold a meeting soon. 

The mid-day meal scheme is a school meal programme of the Government of India designed to better 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.

In the initial stage, the government gave responsibility to Local Self Help Groups (SHG) to supply mid-day meals to students. However, there were lots of complaints from schools and parents about substandard food across the country including Maharashtra.

In 2012, the State Government issued an order to form central kitchen system at every local body level with proper quality checks to supply mid-day meals instead of giving the contracts to SHGs. Some organisations showed interest in the central kitchen system. However, the State did not take any decision. So, the organisation filed a case against the State Government in Bombay High Court in 2018. The court ordered the State  to take a decision about the central kitchen and give the contract to an appropriate organisation or agency at local body level. 

In February 2019, the State Education Department invited expression of interest for mid-day meals at local bodies level. However, the process was stopped due to the implementation of Model Code of Conduct from March 10, 2019.

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