Bhopal's new collector Nishant Warwade is planning to start an ambitious project through which urban poor and shelterless in Bhopal would be provided nutritious food.
Warwade, whose innovative projects in Hoshangabad (where he was collector for around three years) brought down the malnutrition levels in the district, has now sought the list of the dhabas, restaurants, small and big hotels, food joints in Bhopal from Bhopal Municipal Corporation.
The list provided by BMC points out that there are over 1000 dhabas, restaurants, food joints, small and big hotels within the municipal limits of Bhopal.
"I was having a chat with Dr Manohar Agnani, commissioner food and civil supplies when he talked about this idea of involving the restaurant, dhaba and hotel owners in Bhopal for procuring food for urban poor, especially people in slums and shelterless who cannot afford nutritious food at a time when the prices of food commodities are sky-rocketing.
I liked the idea and decided to become a facilitator for implementing this good idea in Bhopal," said Warwade, whose innovative projects in Hoshangabad , were appreciated within and outside the official circles .
On how they would involve the hotels, restaurants and dhabas in the city, Warwade said first they would first talk with the owners of dhabas, hotels and restaurants to donate some food for feeding the poor in the city who aren't able afford nutritious food.
"Many hotels, dhabas and restaurants cook surplus food, so it won't be that difficult if they donate a little part of it. But cumulatively, when food would be collected from hundreds of dhabas, small and big hotels and restaurants, it can a feed a substantial section of the poor and shelterless in the city," he said.
Asked how they would collect food and distribute food, Warwade said they are working on developing an efficient mechanism through food would be collected and distributed efficiently. "The idea right now is at a very nascent stage.
We are working out the various details and possibilities.
We have to ensure that food is collected properly and then without it getting spoiled, ferried to the poor and shelterless people in Bhopal. The whole chain mechanism would have to be worked out properly for this project so that it takes off in the right way," he said.
This project assumes importance given the fact that there are around 4.8 lakh slum dwellers living in Bhopal and its outskirts, spread over an area of 708.4 hectares.
In simple terms, it means over 30 % of Bhopal's population is living in the slum localities.
For the first time, the detailed satellite imagery of Bhopal which was used in the preparation of Master Plan Bhopal 2031, has given authorities exact idea about the location and area of these slum localities.
The survey conducted by BMC, in 2005 reported over 380 slum localities in Bhopal.
According to the Bhopal's city development plan, most of the poor immigrants to the city find access to shelter only by squatting on public or private land. These squatters over the period of time continue to come and settle on this land thus creating a neighborhood, more generally called as a slum.