BENGALURU: Commentators have often said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah floated the idea of Indira Canteens to woo the urban poor with subsidized food ahead of the State Assembly polls in May 2018. Moreover, it has come to light that subsidy from these canteens would cost the State exchequer close to Rs 89 lakh a day. As many as 500 Indira Canteens would be set up in the state by the end of December including those in Bruhata Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits.
CM Siddaramiah in his budget announced that his government would set up 198 subsidised food canteens for urban poor in BBMP limits, within a few months. He added that 101 Indira Canteens were already functional and the remaining 97 would be opened by October 2. At these establishments, breakfast is served for Rs 5, while lunch and dinner served for Rs 10, he said.
BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad said: “As of today, 1.4 lakh people are getting food everday. It is expected to increase to three lakh when all 198 canteens will be functional. With this the total subsidy given by State government has reached Rs 32 lakh per day.’’ Moreover, the State government has spent Rs 100 crore on the construction of Indira canteens, kitchens and equipment on Indira Canteens in the city.
BBMP sources said: “The bidder has quoted Rs 57 per day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The customer would be paying Rs 25 for the same (Rs 5 + Rs 10 + Rs 10) and the remaining Rs 32 will be paid by the State government. Initially it was estimated that Rs 3 lakh per day would be spent on all 198 canteens, but the number is likely to rise to Rs 57 lakh.”
After getting a good response, the State government is planning to set up Indira Canteens outside BBMP limits. “We have identified 300 places for Indira Canteens. Each district headquarters will have five to 15 canteens, depending on the population. The eateries are expected to start by the end of December or January first week,’’ sources in the Urban Development Department said.
Rs 225 crore for 300 canteens outside BBMP
Sources said that it might cost the state Rs 225 crore for the construction of the 300 canteens to be set up outside set outside BBMP limits besides equipment for the same.
“It will be similar to Indira Canteen structures in BBMP limits. “However, in some places, we shall use the existing buildings,’’ sources said. Apart from the cost of the structure, the State government would be spending Rs 34 lakh on food subsidy everday for the canteens outside city limits.
Eshwar Khandre, Minister of State for Municipalities and Local Bodies, said that officials were still in the process of calculating the subsidy amount.
What you can look forward
Jolad rotti oota (with curry) for Rs10 (three jowar rotis) in North Karnataka
Raagi Mudde (with sambar) for Rs10 (One big mudde) in Old Mysuru region
Neer Dosa for Rs 5 (two pieces) in Coastal Karnataka
Fish curry (tentative) in Coastal Karnataka
Rice items like Anna Sambar/Rasam, rice baths for Rs 5 to Rs10