Modern kitchens help inmates lodged in UP jails

Lucknow, May 17  Inmates in many jails of Uttar Pradesh are no longer cooking food the traditional way as modular kitchens with latest cooking gadgets have become operational in 25 districts of the state. Bijnor jail was the first to be equipped with a modern kitchen. "The jail department has started modular kitchens in 25 districts with an expenditure of Rs 4.71 crores in the first phase", IG Prisons PK Mishra told PTI. Since the time of British rule, food inside prisons was cooked by inmates the traditional way even in extreme winter or summer affecting the health of prisoners. Due to this, a scheme to modernise jail kitchens was started in the state, he said. The new kitchens are equipped with gadgets to knead flour and prepare chapattis on a largescale in roti makers besides there will be potato peelers, vegetable cutters and arrangement of chimneys and other equipment used in modern kitchens, he said. "It takes about four to five hours to cook food for thousands of inmates. Now, with the help of machines the work will be completed in one to two hours. This not only saves time but also leaves a good impact on health of prisoners involved in the cooking," he said. In the first phase, 25 jail kitchens have been mechanised and in the days to come all 72 jails of the state will be covered. Initially, some problems were faced as prisoners did not have much knowledge about these gadgets and did not know how to operate them. For this, experts have trained them and now they have accustomed to these machines. The main advantage of this scheme is that food is prepared under more hygienic conditions as it is not touched by hand. According to officials in the last financial year, the UP government had taken up this initiative of modernising kitchens by equipping them with modern gadgets including electric chimneys, vegetable cutters, roti makers, wheat cleansing machines, etc. This would immensely reduce the work of inmates. Bijnor jail was the first to achieve this status. "There are about thousand prisoners lodged in Bijnor jail and around 55 prisoners were deputed to prepare the food every day. After the modernisation the same work is being overseen by 25 inmates," jail officials said.
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