Odisha Govt To Provide LPG To Residential Schools & Hostels In Next 2 Years

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to convert all traditional kitchens in residential schools and hostels under the ST&SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department to eco-friendly ones by replacing use of conventional methods of cooking with LPG across the state.

Roopa Roshan Sahoo, secretary of the department, in a letter to all collectors on Wednesday, directed the schools, hostels and establishments to adopt the “eco-friendly” campaign and convert all the kitchens to LPG-based cooking environment.

She said the government has consistently taken steps for 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 etc.

“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 so as to ensure a green and healthy alternative in and around the hostel kitchens. During next two years, all the hostels will have LPG based cooking facilities,’’ she said in the letter.

At present, there are 1,736 schools functioning under the department, while there are around 6,000 hostels including the hostels under Anwesha and Akankhya programme in which more than 5 lakh ST&SC students have been housed.

During 2024-25, all high schools (422), higher secondary schools (62), Biju Pattnaik Adarsh Vidyalaya (1), Kalinga Model Residential School (5) and Anwesha Hostels (93) including 1,222 hostels with 1,76,000 boarders will be included in the plan. The remaining schools and hostels will be covered during 2025-26.

To implement the plan, additional funds have been provisioned in amenities sector in 2024-25 Budget besides the fuel charges. The provision of cooking gas chullah, LPG cylinders, fuel etc has been incorporated in the entitlements and amenities guidelines.

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

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