11 kitchens, 118 feeding centres proposed to be set up in 75 towns across State

Idli, poori, upma, sambhar rice, curry… Heavily subsidised breakfast and lunch at just ₹ 5 will be available to citizens in towns across Telangana once the government clears proposals put forth by the Department of Municipal Administration and Urban Development for starting such feeding centres.

The Hare Krishna Charitable Foundation, a non-profit organisation of the Hare Krishna Movement-Hyderabad, has come forward to provide sumptuous food at a cost of ₹5 for breakfast and lunch at designated centres identified across the towns.

Similar 150 centres are being run by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) in the twin cities for the past four years, at makeshift kiosks, with food supplied by the Foundation.

Ministers including K.T. Rama Rao (Municipal Administration), T. Harish Rao (Irrigation) and Deputy Chief Minister K. Srihari have requested the foundation to start such centres in the towns of Sircilla, Karimnagar and Warangal following good response in the capital.

The Commissioner and Director of Municipal Administration on the directions of its Minister has decided to take a step forward and take up such subsidised food centres in all the urban areas, senior officials informed. “We are ready to set up a centralised kitchen and serve the beneficiaries nutritious hot cooked food with the assurance of prescribed calories and proteins as per the government norms,” said Hare Krishna Movement officials.

While the citizens will be paying just ₹5, the subsidy amount to be borne by the local body will be between ₹13 and ₹19.25 for breakfast and lunch which will otherwise cost ₹18 and ₹24.25, respectively.

How the precise subsidy amount is to be shared has not yet been decided, but it is estimated that the total cost will be ₹16.12 crore for 40,000 breakfasts for 310 days and ₹25.80 crore for an equal number for lunches.

The MA&UD Department has proposed to set up 11 kitchens to cater to the citizens in more than 75 towns with 118 feeding centres in all. But, to begin with, municipal corporations and municipalities have been directed to set up at least one canteen in the community centre this month itself by choosing a suitable location with the initial cost to be met from the funds gathered through the Layout Regularisation Scheme (LRS).

“For now, we are capable of supplying food from our four existing kitchens at Narsingi, Sangareddy, Kothagudem and Warangal while the one in Mahabubnagar is almost ready. As the scheme is expanded to several towns, we may need more kitchens,” say officials of the foundation.

Source: The Hindu         Dated: August 12, 2018