CHENNAI: Amma Unavagams are set to turn food on wheels as the Corporation has planned to introduce mobile trucks within two months. “The trucks would look similar to ones present at Marina. This is aimed at taking subsidised food to construction workers and labourers. Around 50 trucks are expected to be purchased,’’ said a Health official.
The civic body is expected to put to use the Rs100 crore allocated for Amma Canteens in the budget on Friday. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam announced that a non-profit special-purpose vehicle would be formed to facilitate CSR funding to maintain Amma Canteens. As per records, Amma Canteens generates Rs 28 to Rs 30 crore while the overall expenditure is about Rs 150 crore.
‘’Normally, for welfare programmes and subsidy schemes, the government exchequer would only bear the financial burden but here, it falls on the local body. This move will help in running them successfully,” said a Corporation official. Started in 2013 by late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the scheme has provided food at affordable rates - one idli at Re 1, a plate of curd rice at Rs 3, a plate of sambar rice at Rs 5 among other items. The civic body so far has generated a revenue of only Rs 185 crore across 407 canteens while expenditure has been Rs 669 crore.
The government advised corporation to look into setting up Aavin parlours and ATM booths inside the canteen. Corporation officials said a trust will be formed immediately to rope in CSR funds once the GO is issued on SPV.