City's Chinese sister to open Amma canteens

Published: 09th July 2016 04:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th July 2016 04:56 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: TAMIL Nadu government’s subsidised food outlet, Amma Canteen, might soon be replicated in Chongqing city of southwest China. Chongqing is the sister-city to Chennai, a result of an agreement signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his three-day visit to China in May 2015.

At a meeting with Chinese delegates at Ripon Building on Friday, city Mayor Saidai Duraisamy presented various populist and welfare schemes implemented by the Corporation including Amma canteen. The delegation was particularly impressed by the idea of Amma Canteens and have hinted at the possibility of replicating it in Chongqing city, Corporation sources told Express.

Soon after the Prime Minister signed the agreement, the Ministry of External Affairs announced that Chennai Corporation and Chongqing Municipality would exchange resources for development on solid waste management and reclamation, education, urban planning and environment besides improving trade.

Amma canteens aimed at providing nutritious and quality food to people belonging to economically weaker sections were launched in 2013.

Despite doubts over its sustainability, it has grown to a chain of more than 500 outlets across the state. Idlis and Pongal are priced at Rs 1 each while sambar rice, curry leaf rice and chapattis are sold at Rs 3.

Several top officials and ministers from other states have visited these canteens and have expressed keenness on replicating the model. Recently the scheme was replicated in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.  The Corporation has decided to open 107 more Amma canteens in Chennai. In a major reform, the Health wing of the civic body was relieved from managing all the 400 Amma canteens in Chennai. A DRO level post has been created solely for this purpose.

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