Underlining the need for early completion of kitchen-cum-stores under the Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS), the Ministry of Human Resources Development has asked the state governments to work out a time-bound plan to complete construction of the kitchen-cum-stores at the earliest.
In a letter to the state governments, the Ministry of HRD pointed out that provision of infrastructure facilities such as kitchen-cum-stores are essential for the proper implementation of the MDMS to ensure supply of healthy and hygienic meals to school children and provide safe storage for food grain at the school level.
The Ministry of HRD has sanctioned 9,55,479 units of kitchen-cum-store sheds for schools up to 2011-2012. So far only 5,90,394 sheds (62 per cent) have been constructed. As per the analysis of state QPRs for the quarter ending September 2012, states that have made very slow progress in the construction of kitchen-cum-stores are Andhra Pradesh(4 per cent), Kerala (13 per cent), Maharashtra (28 per cent), Tamil Nadu (30 per cent), Uttarakhand (35 per cent), Haryana (35 per cent) and Odisha (48 per cent).
The ministry observed that only 14 State Steering-cum-monitoring Committee (SSMC) meetings have been held in all the states during the first quarter of 2012-13 against the norm of 70 meetings- at least one meeting in every quarter for each state.
The ministry also requested the state governments to place emphasis on the school health programme, since sufficient funds are available under the National Rural Health Mission to meet the health needs of school children.