Tribal residential schools, hostels in Odisha to adopt eco-friendly cooking facilities

During the first phase of the year 2024-25, all hostels in 50 high schools, 20 higher secondary schools, 5 KMRS, 1 BPAV and 25 Anwesha Hostels shall be taken up and completed by 30 June 2024.

During the coming two years, all the hostels will have LPG-based cooking facilities. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)During the coming two years, all the hostels will have LPG-based cooking facilities. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Press Trust of India | February 28, 2024 | 07:37 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Odisha government has decided to convert all traditional kitchens in its residential schools and hostels to 'eco-friendly' ones and stop the use of conventional methods of cooking. Commissioner-cum-Secretary ST and SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department, Roopa Roshan Sahoo, in a letter to all Collectors on Wednesday, directed all schools, hostels and establishments under the department to adopt the "eco-friendly" campaign and convert all the kitchens to LPG-based cooking environment.

There are 1,736 schools functioning under the administrative control of the ST&SC Development, M&BCW Department while there are around 6,000 hostels across the state including the hostels under Anwesha and Akankhya programme in which more than 5 lakh ST&SC students stay. Sahoo said the state government has consistently taken steps for the smooth functioning of the residential facilities by providing better and improved amenities including strengthening of infrastructure.

Similarly, the entitlements of the boarder students have been expanded by providing winter clothes, casual dresses, improvement in diet and others, she said. "Now, this has been decided to add one more improvement, particularly for strengthening the cooking facilities in the institutions while phasing out the conventional methods by LPG to ensure a green and healthy alternative in and around the hostel kitchens.

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Odisha's green kitchen initiative

During the coming two years (2024-25 and 2025-26), all the hostels shall have LPG-based cooking facilities", the letter read. Sahoo said that during 2024-25 all High Schools (422), Higher Secondary Schools (62), Biju Patnaik Adarsh Vidyalaya (1), Kalinga Model Residential School (5), Anwesha Hostels (93) are included in the above plan of having "Eco-friendly" kitchens which shall include 1,222 hostels wherein 1,76,000 boarders are residing.

The remaining schools and hostels shall be covered during 2025-26, she said. To implement the plan, additional funds have been provisioned in the amenities sector in the Annual Budget 2024-25 over and above the fuel charges. The provision of cooking gas chullah, LPG cylinders, fuel, etc, has been incorporated in the entitlements and amenities guidelines.

During the first phase of the year 2024-25, all hostels in 50 high schools, 20 higher secondary schools, 5 KMRS, 1 BPAV and 25 Anwesha Hostels shall be taken up and completed by 30 June 2024. "The selection of specific school and hostel should be decided at the district level and communicated to the department," the letter stated.

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