Watch on midday meal kitchens

All NGOs running these facilities asked to install CCTV cameras

With the conspiracy theory doing the rounds in the Bihar midday meal tragedy, the municipal corporations here have decided to take special measures to prevent a repeat of any such incidents in their schools.

While the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has decided to get the antecedents of staff members who work in the kitchens of non-governmental organisations providing
midday meal verified, the  South Delhi Municipal Corporation plans to increase security in the kitchens.

The civic bodies have also decided to ask all the NGOs running these kitchens to install close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in and around kitchen premises to keep an eye on suspicious activities or the movement of the kitchen staff or any outsider.
“We can’t take any chances. We will get the history of the NGO employees involved in cooking and distribution of the midday meal properly verified,” said Mohan Bhardwaj, deputy chairman of standing committee, North Corporation.

Meanwhile, chairman of South Corporation education committee, Satish Upadhyay conducted surprise checks in the kitchens supplying food to its schools. Upadhyay said to restrict the entry of anti-social elements in the kitchens, security arrangements will be tightened.

“I have directed the officials to emphasise on tightening security to avoid outside interference. Entry should be restricted in the kitchens and CCTV cameras should be installed to monitor the movement of people in and around them,” he said.
The issue of midday meal was raised in the standing committee meeting of North Corporation by the leader of opposition Mukesh Goel.

He alleged that the food being served in the schools is below standard.
“The food is cooked in unhygienic conditions. While the water being used in cooking is dirty, even the cooks do not maintain the standard practice of wearing clean clothes and protective gear,” said Goel. 

Standing committee chairman Ram Kishan Singhal, however, said a team of elected representatives and education department officials will conduct surprise checks regularly in the four kitchens which supply food.

“Different teams will be formed to conduct surprise checks starting this week. Members of opposition will also be a part of the surprise checks, which would be done on-camera in order to maintain transparency,” said Singhal.

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