Balasore, Dec 8: The kitchen garden programme implemented by the Odisha government in schools in Balasore district has turned dry owing to non-disbursement of funds.
This has deprived the students of consuming freshly grown vegetables and school administration is depending on local markets for procuring vegetables for mid-day meals at high prices.
As per the programme, Rs 5,000 was sanctioned to each school for developing kitchen gardens on their premises. However, around 70 percent kitchen gardens have turned barren due to non-disbursement of funds. Besides, several schools in the district do not have proper infrastructure for maintaining the gardens.
Accord8ing to official data, a total of Rs 1,19,50,000 was sanctioned to 2390 schools in Balasore district out of 24000 government schools in the district for developing kitchen gardens.
Around 70 percent kitchen gardens have turned barren in the district as the state government is not sanctioning fund for the last three years.
District Education Officer Pratibha Manjarai Das said the kitchen garden programme has failed in some schools due to lack of government funds. But many schools have kitchen gardens and efforts are on to farm vegetables in all schools.