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3 months on, ‘Aahar’ outlet yet to start in Odisha capital bus stand


Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 26:

Close to three months after the subsidised meal scheme ‘Aahar’ was launched across Odisha on Utkal Divas, one of the five proposed outlets in the capital city is yet to be operational despite the completion of infrastructural requirements to run the food scheme.

baramunda aahar

The state government had announced to provide rice-dalma at Rs 5 to people, especially from the weaker sections of the society who come to the capital city for various reasons. For this, the government had identified five locations in the city where the density of the floating population is relatively high.

The scheme was launched on April 1, coinciding with state’s foundation day, to provide food to the commuters at five locations in the city.

While the other four centres in the city—near railway station, court, Mancheswar Industrial estate and capital hospital– are offering food to people, Baramunda Bus Stand on the city outskirts, where at least 40, 000 people arrive daily, is yet to be operational.

The inordinate delay in opening of the centre at one of the busiest bus terminals in the state has raised many questions among denizens.

Interestingly, the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) rest shed has been furnished and fitted with essentials to run the Aahar centre.

When contacted, officials dodge the queries with no definite answers.

“A team would conduct a survey in that area. Based on their report, we would take a decision,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

According to sources, owners of eateries in the bus stand premises had met the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor and other officials and urged them not to make the centre operational.

“The Odisha Mining Corporation has sponsored the four centres as a result of which these centres are running. The Baramunda centre is under consideration. The government hasn’t taken any decision on it yet,” said BMC Deputy Commissioner Srimanta Mishra, in-charge of Aahar programme.