The decision in this regard was taken at a high-level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. 'Aahar' societies, one at state-level headed by Chief Secretary and in district-level led by district collectors, would be set up, the meeting resolved.

The scheme will be implemented with financial assistance from funding agencies, Urban Development Minister Pushpendra Singh told reporters, adding that credible organisations to be given opportunity to implement the scheme.

"We are planning to implement it in district headquarters hospitals and industrial towns with the help of eligible funding agencies," Pushpendra Singhdeo said, adding, that the Chief Minister had also ordered development of infrastructure such as water facilities, CCTV camera for surveillance, facilities for handicapped people among others at the existing 'Aahar' outlets.

The state government on April 1 opened 21 'Aahar' centres in five major cities like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Berhampur and Sambalpur where at least 22,000 poor people are being fed rice and dal at the rate of Rs 5 a plate.

The poor people visiting urban pockets are being provided with cheap meal, Singhdeo said, adding that such facility would be available in different places in phases.

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