Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on its foundation day on Saturday has crossed 4-crore mark in serving lunch at subsidised rate under the flagship Shiv Bhojan scheme from January 26, 2020, to May 1, 2021, said Food and Civil Supply Minister Chhagan Bhujbal. The government has already announced to provide free lunch under the Shiv Bhojan scheme in the wake of the imposition of lockdown with strict restrictions amid rising Covid-19 cases in the state.
Initially, the plate was served at Rs 10 and later it was reduced to Rs 5.
Bhujbal said each centre is now serving 150 plates a day and it has been done by complying with all Covid-19 norms including social distancing. He informed that the scheme has been extended up to taluka level from April and the plates served in each district have been increased five-fold. ‘’ The beneficiaries include unorganised workers, migrants and homeless people. The lunch is served from 11 am to 3 pm in these centres. The government is giving a subsidy of Rs 45 per plate for urban areas and Rs 30 per plate for rural areas,’’ he noted.
Bhujbal said the government proposes to cover more people especially from economically weaker sections under the scheme.
After the government started Shiv Bhojan Yojana, 79,918 citizens enjoyed it in January, 467,869 in February and 578,031 in March. After that, in the months of April, May and June, 24,99,257, 33,84,040 and 30,96,232 people tasted Shiva Bhojan in the lockdown announced by the central government to prevent the spread of corona.
Bhujbal said after the launch of the scheme in January 2020, 79,918 people took the benefit which was slowly and steadily increased to 4 crore as on May 1, 2021.