Bihar denies alert from Centre on midday meal

July 18, 2013 06:44 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 08:54 pm IST - Patna

Facing widespread criticism over the death of 23 children after eating midday meals in Chhapra, the Bihar government on Thursday denied receiving any alert from the Centre over shortcomings in its implementation and insisted that the food was ‘poisonous’.

“No such alert was issued to us. In the meeting of project approval board, a study by A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Science and Jamia Milia University had pointed out that in many places standard of hygiene was not maintained on which the government acted promptly,” Principal Secretary Education Amarjeet Sinha told reporters.

Accompanied by Director, Midday meal programme, R Lakshamanan, Sinha said based on the studies, the state government in April held a training for principals and cooks to the maintain standard of cleanness in food for the scheme.

Earlier in the day, Union HRD Minister M.M. Pallam Raju said warnings were issued to 12 Bihar districts including Saran where the tragedy occurred after some shortcomings in the implementation of the programme were identified.

Mr. Sinha repeated the remarks of Education Minister P.K. Shahi on Wednesday that the food was poisonous as confirmed by presence of organic phosphorous.

The case seemed to be one of poisoning of food and not food poisoning, he stressed.

“Insecticide was mixed in large quantity in the oil used for cooking food or it seems that the food was cooked in the insecticide,” Mr. Sinha said.

The presence of organic phosphorous was clinically confirmed by doctors, he said.

“The report of the laboratory test of the food is expected tomorrow which will give a final verdict over the issue,” he said.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.