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Soon, buffet services for jail inmates

The inmates of 35 jails around Maharashtra will soon have a choice on the quantity of food on their plates.

mumbai Updated: May 01, 2011 01:25 IST
Little Yadav

The inmates of 35 jails around Maharashtra will soon have a choice on the quantity of food on their plates. Jail authorities have decided to start a buffet system for inmates instead of giving them a fixed meal after it was noticed that not all inmates finished what was on their plates, leading to large amounts of food being wasted.

There are 35 jails in Maharashtra with 22,000 prisoners. Authorities said it was an experiment, which they would be carrying out first in a few jails like Arthur Road and Byculla women’s jail.

If the buffet system is a success, as far as preventing food wastage is concerned, then it will be implemented across
the state.

Authorities said starting a buffet system might prove to be a good solution to prevent food wastage. This, they said, is because there are many people in jails who have a small appetite.

As per the current system in jails, every inmate is served a fixed quantity of food – three rotis, rice, dal, vegetables and sweets. “The problem with a fixed quantity is that some inmates eat very little and the rest has to be thrown away. This is also a waste of government money,” said Surinder Kumar, inspector general (prisons).

Jail authorities have been facing this problem for long.

Every day a bulk of the food is thrown away.

“We wanted something where we only compromise on the quantity of the food and not the quality,” Kumar added.

With the buffet system, authorities feel wastage can be curbed as inmates can now serve themselves depending on their appetite.

“If the system fails then we will think of another solution,” Kumar said.