DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand High Court on Monday directed the government to submit a status report within two days about mid-day meal and related allowances provided to children studying in state government schools after a PIL was filed alleging irregularities in the scheme.
"The honorable court has directed the state government to submit status report till June 24 about the scheme and its implementation in the state across all 13 districts," said Sanjay Rawat, one of the petitioners and resident of Nainital district.
Earlier, on March 20, a letter was addressed to all state governments and Union Territories by Ministry of Human Resource Development, (MHRD) instructing for food allowances while the schools remain closed due to coronavirus pandemic.
The rules and regulations of the mid-day meal scheme state that if mid-day meals are not provided by schools either due to non-availability of grains, cost constraints, fuel or any other reason, the state government has to pay adequate food security allowance.
Last month, The New Indian Express had reported that around 1.38 lakh students of government schools in Uttarakhand did not receive food amidst ongoing lockdown during April and May under the scheme.
MHRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank's Parliamentary constituency of Haridwar infact, topped the list with many such cases where only 1,22,405 students out of 1,53,006 students enrolled in 1,073 government schools were provided food allowances, leaving more than 36,500 children bereft of any benefits.
The documents also revealed that Uttarakhand government provided ration to children only on 48 out of 66 working days between March 13 to May 17, 2020.
Food was provided to students on 14 days in March, 21 days in April and 13 days in May.