Mumbai: A record 2,33,738 citizens had lunch at Rs 10 under the Shiv Bhojan scheme across Maharashtra since it was launched on January 26. In view of the overwhelming response, the government has proposed to increase the per day plates to 1 lakh from the present 18,000 plates served at 139 centres. It also plans to increase the number of centres in the due course of time.
The government, for three months, has allocated Rs 6.48 crore for the implementation of the scheme. It expects an annual outgo of Rs 125 crore after the number of plates and centres are increased. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who had promised the scheme ahead of the state assembly poll in the Shiv Sena manifesto, is personally supervising its implementation. The Department of Food and Civil Supplies headed by Chhagan Bhujbal is the nodal agency for its implementation. Thackeray and Bhujbal recently had held a dialogue with citizens benefiting by the Shiv Bhojan scheme via video conferencing.
According to the government release, since its launch, nearly 1,05,887 people had lunch at the Shiv Bhojan centres. The number of beneficiaries has risen by another one lakh up to February 11.
In the urban areas, the plate costs Rs 50, and Rs 35 in the rural areas. The government provides subsidy of Rs 40 in urban and Rs 25 in rural areas to those who operates such centres.