It may sound unrealistic but BJP civic bodies in the National Capital Region are now offering lunch thalis for as low as Rs 10. Subsidized food was a popular poll promise by the BJP and now it is finally living up to it. On Monday, the civic bodies took cue from the popularity of “Amma canteens” in Tamil Nadu, and rolled out half a dozen “Atal Aahaar Kendra” centres. The scheme was launched on the eve of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday and will provide subsidized lunch thalis at Rs 10.

BJP Subsidized Food

Six centers were launched in Okhla Mandi, Matiala chowk, Green Park/AIIMS, Raghubir Nagar, Kakraula Mor in Najafgarh and in Shalimar Bagh on Monday. The North and South Corporations have announced that one such centre will be opened in every ward in a phased manner in the next one year while the East Corporation has put the scheme on hold due to its severe financial crunch, its standing committee chairman Parvesh Sharma said. The kiosks, which are of 9 feet by 5 feet in size, have been set up by the NGOs operating midday meal kitchens. The kiosks will remain open all seven days of the week between noon and 2pm.

The centres will provide four puris or 250g rice with 150g sabzi in one of these combinations — chhole-chawal, rajma-chawal, puri-sabzi, dalchawal, puri-chhole.  “We expect to get around 500-700 plates every day and the civic body has assured that they will provide Rs 4-5 per thali financial assistance in the later phase. The Jan Aahaar project by the Sheila Dikshit government eventually shut down due to a flawed financial model,” said Godfrey Pereira from a self-help group, JGHS, which is managing the Atal Kendra in Green Park and previously ran a Jan Aahaar Kendra. Kamaljeet Sehrawat, the South Delhi mayor, said that she was happy that an important promise by the BJP in the election manifesto is being fulfilled.

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