Berhampur (Odisha): Steam-based cooking system will soon be introduced in residential schools run by the ST and SC development department in Kandhamal district of Odisha.
The district administration has decided to install such facilities on a pilot basis in at least 10 schools. "The expenses for installing the system on school premises will be borne from Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) funds," said Kandhamal Collector B S Punia. While each cooking unit will cost Rs 2.50 lakh, around Rs 30,000 is required for construction of a cooking chamber for each unit, sources said.
The collector said the project will be extended to other residential schools and hostels depending on its success and cost effectiveness. "The system is cost and fuel efficient and takes less time to cook food," said ITDA project director (Phulbani) Pranati Patra.
While it works on LPG, specially designed cookers, depending on the quantity of food to be cooked, needs to be installed. "The food remains warm for longer period when cooked using this system, which also preserves its nutritional value," ITDA project director said.
The cooking system had earlier been adopted by schools and hostels being run by non-government organisations (NGO) in several other districts. Gajapati district administration had also introduced the same system in some of its residential schools. Similarly, Nandi Foundation, a Hyderabad-based NGO, cooked mid-day meals for schools in and around Berhampur town using this system.
Source: Press trust of India