The Maharashtra government on Sunday launched its much-anticipated Rs 10 per plate 'Shiv Bhojan' scheme to mark the 71st Republic Day, officials said. The pilot project will provide a wholesome meal at an affordable Rs 10 to poor people at designated timings at centres or canteens in all the districts in the state.
In Mumbai, district Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh inaugurated the 'Shiv Bhojan thaali' at BYL Nair Hospital while Mumbai Suburban District Guardian Minister Aditya Thackeray launched it at the Bandra Collectorate.
Other Guardian Ministers like Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal, Jayant Patil, Subhash Desai, Ashok Chavan, and others also kickstarted the ambitious venture in their respective districts.
आज मुंबई उपनगर महसूल कर्मचारी उपहारगृह येथे नागरिकांसाठी १० रुपयांत आहार असलेल्या 'शिवभोजन' या योजनेचे उद्घाटन केले.— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) January 26, 2020
पोटाला जात, पात, धर्म आणि आर्थिक स्थितीचे निकष न लावता सर्वांना स्वस्त आणि दर्जेदार आहार मिळावा हेच या योजनेचे उद्दिष्ट आहे. pic.twitter.com/PQVn7uweUa
The 'Shiv Bhojan' plate comprises two chapatis, one vegetable, rice, dal and a dessert item to be available between 12-2 p.m. daily, serving an average 500 plates.
Hundreds of people thronged at various locations and even ministers paid and joined them to enjoy the fare dished out for Rs 10.
Though most people appreciated the food quality and quantity, many suggested that the service hours must be extended to enable more people to take advantage.
The state government has earmarked an initial budget of Rs 6.40 crore for the pilot scheme for the first three months and depending on the response, it will be extended to more areas and interior parts.
The canteens shall function at public places like markets, hospitals, bus stations, railway stations, government offices or collectorate.
According to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, while the customer will pay Rs 10 per plate, the actual cost would be Rs 50 in urban areas and Rs 35 in rural centres which the government will reimburse through grants to the district administration.
The Rs 10 per plate meal scheme was one of the Shiv Sena's election manifesto promises and part of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress which took office on November 28.