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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Atal Aahar Yojana, meant to provide subsidised food to the poor, will get fresh push in South Delhi

The move comes ahead of next year’s MCD polls, where the BJP, which is currently in power, faces a tough challenge from the AAP

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi |
Updated: July 22, 2021 10:03:51 am
A subsidised thali was part of the BJP manifesto before the 2017 MCD polls. (Representational image )

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) will give yet another push to the Atal Aahar Yojna — a scheme to provide food to poor people at subsidised rates, which earlier had to be stopped after vendors complained of few takers.

Deputy Commissioner of the SDMC’s RP Cell, P S Jha, said the civic body will invite applications from a third party to run the scheme this time.

The move comes ahead of next year’s MCD polls, wherein the BJP, which is currently in power, faces a tough challenge from the AAP.

Under the scheme, breakfast and lunch will be offered at Rs 10 and Rs 15 respectively. To make things lucrative, vendors will be allowed to sell confectionery or other items once meal time is over. “They can even run the business after lunch hours, and can then charge as per market prices,” said Jha.

This will help the corporation run the scheme without spending money from its budget.

The scheme was launched by the SDMC with much fanfare on December 25, 2017, after winning the civic polls. Launched at four places then, it was stopped in six months due to disputes with vendors, who complained they had not been provided optimum locations and weren’t attracting enough people.

A subsidised thali was part of the BJP manifesto before the 2017 MCD polls.

SDMC’s standing committee chairperson, B K Oberoi, said a fresh proposal will be brought in the next meeting, after which the scheme would be started.

He said he wants to give contracts to different agencies, self-help groups or those running such businesses in the form of cooperatives instead of those who run it only with a profit motive. “Even students with start-up experiences can join,” he said.

The SDMC plans to set up 40 kiosks in South Delhi. No chairs will be allowed at these kiosks as it could create an obstruction for pedestrians. The outlets will sell breakfast from 8 am to 11 am and lunch from noon to 3 pm.

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