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Odisha HC seeks state government response on food security scheme coverage

🔴 The affidavit, filed on November 2 in response to a petition, says that the SFSS has been able to cover only 11.36 lakh of the additional target of 34.44 lakh beneficiaries over the past seven months.

Odisha High Court, Odisha government. State Food Security Scheme, Food Security, Odisha food crisis, National Food Security Act, Indian express, current affairsThe SFSS scheme was introduced by the Odisha government in 2018 to cover people who were left out of the National Food Security Act. (File)

The Odisha High Court on Friday sought a response from the state government and gave it time till January 6, 2022, to come up with an action plan to increase its coverage under the State Food Security Scheme (SFSS).

A division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice AK Mohapatra issued the direction in response to an affidavit filed by Vir Vikram Yadav, the Principal Secretary of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department.

The affidavit, filed on November 2 in response to a petition, says that the SFSS has been able to cover only 11.36 lakh of the additional target of 34.44 lakh beneficiaries over the past seven months.

The SFSS scheme was introduced by the Odisha government in 2018 to cover people who were left out of the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

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The government’s affidavit addressed the gap in coverage under the scheme, but it did not elucidate how the administration plans to bridge the gap.

“The affidavit is silent on how the State government proposes to increase the coverage under the State Food Security Act. Another affidavit must be filed mentioning what steps are proposed to take in the action plan by the next date for hearing on the matter,” the bench said.

The High Court was hearing a PIL filed by social activist Prafulla Samantara “seeking special intervention by way of food security measures and food grains to non-ration card holders in view of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

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Samantra’s counsel Ishwar Mohanty had cited a report by the Poverty and Human Development Monitoring Agency, which detailed the detrimental effects of lack of nutrition among children in Odisha.

The report presented in the court pointed out that lack of nutritional intake of energy, protein and fat has led to prevalence of stunting and malnutrition among children in most parts of the state.

First published on: 27-11-2021 at 04:45:17 am
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