CHENNAI: Even as the AIADMK government’s programme to set up subsidised canteens under the brand of ‘Amma Unavagam’ gains international attention, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has in one swoop more than doubled the number of such canteens in the State. Her order to open 360 more Amma Unavagams would, apart from raising the number from 294 to 654, also take the programme from the larger urban pockets to smaller towns and semi-urban areas.
“I had inaugurated 15 Amma Unavagams in Chennai on February 19, 2013. Since then, the programme has been expanded. Through video conferencing, I have inaugurated Amma Unavagams in all the corporations across the State and at government hospitals in Chennai. I now take joy in announcing that I have ordered the inauguration of 360 more Amma Unavagams across the State, and these would be functional soon,” said Jayalalithaa in her statement. The CM’s latest order paves the way for setting up of a second Amma Unavagam in each of the 200 wards in the Chennai Corporation, one Amma Unavagam each in the 27 district headquarters where they haven’t already been opened, 129 of the canteens in 124 municipalities, one Amma Unavagam each in the newly formed Dindigul and Thanjavur corporations as well as one each in the Coimbatore and Madurai corporations.
The total number of Amma Unavagams presently functioning stands at 294. Of these, 203 come under the Chennai Corporation (one in each of the 200 wards and the rest in government hospitals), 11 in Madurai Corporation and one each in the other eight corporations. While the Amma Unavagams in Chennai have been run by the Chennai Corporation, the others are being run by the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration.