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500 people gather for ‘Shiv Bhojan Thali’ in Pune, owner calls police to manage crowd

According to Shiv Bhojan thali consists of two chapatis, one vegetable curry, dal, and rice. It is to be available daily between 12 noon to 2 pm

Pune: The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi’s (MVA) led by ShivSena, NCP, and Congress launched ambitious Shiv Bhojan Yojana, a subsidized meal at Rs 10,  in Pune on Republic Day, has seen a response enough for the police to be called in to manage the crowds lining up to eat.

On Wednesday the canteen at Market Yard, one of 11 places in the city where the ten-rupee thali is available called in the Pune Police to ensure lunch hour did not turn into a free for all.

People gathered in large numbers demanded the subsidized meal even after 2 pm, which according to the Maharashtra government guidelines for the meal, is when service should stop.

“From the past three days around 500 people have been turning at the center every day, which is more than the allotted number of subsidized plates I can offer. The crowd which gathered to collect thali demanded food even after timing was over and I had to call in the police,” the owner of the canteen said.

According to Shiv Bhojan thali consists of two chapatis, one vegetable curry, dal, and rice. It is to be available daily between 12 noon to 2 pm.

The thali at a time only allows one per person and the canteen owner takes a photograph of the beneficiary, record her/his name and contact details on a mobile application.

Supply inspector of food, civil supplies, and consumer protection department, Sanjeev Gone, Maharashtra, had earlier said, “We all have been allocated one canteen where the Shiv Bhojan thali is been sold to the public. Our duty is to examine its quantity, check the taste and quality of food daily and submit a report.”

The Maharashtra government is providing these Shiv Bhojan thalis to the canteen owner at a subsidy which costs Rs 50 in urban areas and Rs 35 in rural areas, per thali. The quality of the food will be checked regularly by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials.

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