Mumbai: Govt approves 10 more Shiv Bhojan centres

Buoyed by the response to state’s flagship subsidised food scheme, Shiv Bhojan, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government Monday approved 10 new canteens in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane under the scheme.

On January 26, Thackeray had rolled out his pet scheme across 100 centres in the state.

Within a month, 39 new centres have been opened, officials said.

While a total of 10 centres were initially opened in Mumbai and neighbouring Thane, Navi Mumbai, and Mira Bhayander, Controller of Rationing and Director of Civil Supplies (Mumbai) Kailash Pagare said that 10 more places — six in Mumbai, one each in Navi Mumbai, Kalyan and Ulhasnagar — were approved on Monday.

Thackeray’s Shiv Bhojan scheme, which was a part of his party’s election manifesto, and a part of the MVA’s common minimum programme, is Maharashtra’s own version of Tamil Nadu’s Amma canteens that provide food to the poor at heavily subsidised rates.

In Maharashtra, Thackeray’s subsidised canteens run between 12-2 pm daily, serving a full meal including two chapatis, a vegetable bowl, rice and dal at Rs 10 to beneficiaries. The state plans to serve 18,000 subsidised thalis daily.

Unlike Amma canteens, Maharashtra chose to run the scheme with the help of existing food canteens run by the government, women self-help groups, caterers near high-footfall areas such as government hospitals, government offices, state transport depots and industrial estates.

Officials have said the scheme was receiving a good response from the public ever since it was rolled out.