VISAKHAPATNAM: As the YSRC government ushers in new policies, the old projects are gradually being phased out. One such project is Anna Canteen, where a meal could be had at Rs 5. Now this project, started by former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, is likely to close shutters from August 1.
The Hare Krishna Charitable Foundation, the service provider, was told to close after supplying the last meal on July 31. This will impact hundreds of women working in Anna Canteens in Visakhapatnam district, who are worried about their jobs and beneficiaries who depend on the canteen for their daily nourishment.
Though there has been no official announcement to this end, foundation sources said they were told to temporarily stop supplying food from August 1. This will impact hundreds of women working in Anna Canteens in the district, who are worried about losing their jobs and those who depend on it for their daily food. With around 26 canteens in the city under GVMC limits, each canteen has around seven to 10 workers, majority of whom are women who work for a salary of Rs 6,000 per month.
The previous government started the project last year. The canteens set up near hospitals are crowded as commoners do not get meals at that price and received a good public response, especially for those 7 `5. “The government should reconsider as the scheme is ensuring food for poor and downtrodden. The closure of Anna Canteens will cause large-scale resentment among people, I am sure,” Rajasekhar, a beneficiary, said. In a confused state about their jobs, women workers of Anna Canteen Workers’ Union approached District Collector V Vinay Chand on Monday and submitted their representation at Spandana grievance redressal cell. They asked the government to take over the project and continue serving food for the poor. With a majority of the canteens located in hospital zones, there are many who are benefitted getting a meal for `5.
“Earlier, there was no limit on supply of meals, but later on they were limited to 800 meals per canteen. In the past few weeks, each canteen provided only 600 meals. Canteens, which had around 33,250 people eating food daily, reduced to around 14,000 in the past few weeks. This is an indication that the project would be shelved soon. Till date we haven’t received any information,” P Mani of Anna Canteen Workers’ Union (CITU) said. Woman workers of the canteens allege that despite meagre pay, workers of some canteens are yet to get salary for the last two months.