New Delhi, Aug 11: Against the backdrop of Bihar mid-day meal tragedy, HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju has requested MPs to ensure that a meeting of district level vigilance and monitoring committee is "immediately" called to review the implementation of the scheme.
In a letter to the MPs, he requested them to take up with the district administration in their respective constituencies to hold the meeting soon to review the guidelines. MPs are also members of the vigilance monitoring committee at the district level in which the senior-most MP of the district acts as the chairman.
Raju also underlined on an emergency medical plan to deal with any untoward incident besides, timely release of funds and its availability in schools and procurement of pulses and ingredients of branded and Agmark quality.
He also insisted that the supply of ingredients to schools be done through state civil supplies corporation.
"Accordingly, I request you to kindly take up with the district administration in your constituency and ensure that the committee is held immediately to review the issues," he said in his letter to the MPs.
Twenty-three students had died in Bihar after consuming midday meal on July 16, with the forensic science laboratory department of the Bihar government indicated presence of organic phosphorous in the meal of the children.
The Minister, in his letter, also said the construction of kitchen-cum-stores needs to be "expedited" as hygiene is equally important as the quality of food grains used.
He said holding of committee meeting had been discussed during a consultative committee discussion in March this year and the same was conveyed to the state governments. The committee, he said, would meet quarterly.
According to officials, such meetings would put across the message that the administration is focused on efficiency in the scheme.
The Ministry had said in Parliament last week that it has received 41 complaints of irregularities in the working of the scheme in the past three years while several samples collected failed to meet nutritional and caloric values.
It had also received 39 complaints of poor quality of food served.