BENGALURU: SOON, residents of Bengaluru can use a mobile app to locate the nearest Indira Canteen. BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad announced this on Saturday, saying that the app will be launched within a couple of days. Prasad and Mayor G Padmavathi hailed the project as ‘historic’.
The app will also display the menu of the day, allow users to provide feedback and has the provision for the user to take a selfie in the canteen. Users can participate in a contest by sending the selfie with a caption and vie for a cash prize of `1 lakh.
The number of canteens has been brought down from 125. A BBMP official said installation of other canteens were delayed due to various issues, which included staff members of other hotels protesting against the canteens.
Responding to allegations that several public spaces are being used up for the canteens, the Commissioner said, “Are public spaces restricted to the middle and upper classes? Bengaluru belongs to everyone. We have earlier installed gym equipment, Nandini parlours and Hopcoms outlets in many parks, but nobody questioned us then as these facilities are mainly used by the middle class.”
He revealed that in as many as 25-30 locations, work had to be stopped due to opposition from various quarters.
The Commissioner said no laws had been broken, and several black spots, including the plot near Cantonment railway station, had in fact been cleaned and used for the canteens. He added that a booklet on standard procedures to be followed for the canteens’ operations was being prepared, which would be a guide for cooks and other staff members.
To ensure quality, eminent people from the hospitality industry, including a retired chef and General Manager of Taj Group of Hotels, were roped in for the project, he said. He added that food safety inspectors of the Food and Civil Supplies Department would carry out regular inspections.
Officials have released some details of the canteens. Each canteen has been constructed at a cost of `28.50 lakh. All the canteens will begin operations on Wednesday following the inauguration ceremony at the canteen in Kanakanapalya of Jayanagar ward by AICC Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.
The canteens have been built on 110 plots belonging to the BBMP, and 88 plots owned by various government departments. To keep the food prices low, BBMP will provide a subsidy of `32, of which `9.50 would be for breakfast and `11.25 for each meal.