DFRL sends 3 tonnes of food to Uttarakhand

Consignment from Mysore lab can feed 80,000 people

DFRL sends 3 tonnes of food to Uttarakhand

The first consignment of nearly three tonnes of food on Tuesday dispatched from the Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) here to the flood-hit Uttarakhand.

In all, 200 kg of chapatis, 60 kg of chutney and dal, 200 litres of Badam milk and mango milk shake (in plastic bottles), 800 kg each of sooji halwa, jeera rice, vegetable pulaav and upma that can satiate the hunger of 80,000 people were sent by road to Bangalore on Monday afternoon, Harsh V Batra, DFRL director, told Deccan Herald.

Barring milk products, the shelf-life of the remaining food items is six months to one year. Apart from the ready-to-eat chapatis (each weighing 40 gram totalling up to 180 kg), the remaining are reconstituted food which can be mixed with hot water to increase the quantity. The three tonnes of food will become 7.5 tonnes after reconstitution, Batra added.

Initially, DFRL had planned only three items – upma, sooji halwa and vegetable pulaav. But chapati and other items were added along with milk products, in the interest of the children among the stranded people.

Batra said that following a message from the Defence Research Development Organisation, New Delhi, on June 20, DFRL began the arrangements to procure the ingredients on Friday. From June 22, the actual work started and it was completed on Sunday.

As many as 150 personnel, including the PhD students, voluntarily engaged themselves in the task for 12 hours, even during the weekend. The Mysore unit is fully equipped to produce 1.5 tonnes of food per day, Batra claimed.

A team of three experienced scientists from DFRL – senior scientist M C Pandey and Devkumar Yadav and Paul Murugan – who had previously worked in similar conditions, is accompanying the consignment to oversee the arrangements.

DRDO has already set up its relief camp at Govindghat, Batra said. He said DFRL had not received any communication for food to be sent in the second phase. The unit is, however, ready to provide its assistance, he added.

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