ADW department to centralise kitchens for chennai hostels, invites tenders 

The district Adi Dravidar Welfare Officer will establish two centralised kitchens each spanning 1,500 sqft and hand it over to the service provider  to prepare food for up to 2,000  individuals.

Published: 04th September 2023 06:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th September 2023 06:37 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose.

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  The Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department has decided to supply food for its hostels in Chennai through two centralised kitchens and has initiated a tender worth Rs 7 crore for an expected duration of two years.

Sources said there are 2,945 students staying in 19 Adi Dravidar welfare college hostels and two school hostels in the city. 

The selected service provider will prepare meals and deliver them to the hostels. The service provider must also procure and maintain all cooking equipment at its own expense. As per schedule, breakfast must be delivered by 7 am, lunch by 12.15 pm and dinner by 7.30 pm. The centralised kitchens will operate from two locations — MC Raja College Boys Hostel in Saidapet and  ADW Girls Hostel campus in Vepery. 

The number of students enrolled in the two kitchen centres can be increased by up to 25%. The proposed menu includes chicken or mutton on one day and eggs on the remaining days, excluding Sunday. The district Adi Dravidar Welfare Officer will establish two centralised kitchens each spanning 1,500 sqft and hand it over to the service provider to prepare food for up to 2,000 individuals at a time. 

A panel will oversee the food supply process and the service provider will receive monthly payments within the first five days of the subsequent month. Bidders are required to have an annual turnover of not less than 100% or 75% of the tender value in one of the past financial years since 2019-20. While wardens of the hostels are relieved that they will not have to face the pressure of ensuring quality of cooking, they said they are unsure of how the new system would function. 

One of the wardens said feeding charges provided by the department are insufficient, leading to difficulties in preparing food within the budget. “Transportation charges for groceries and gas cylinders are not reimbursed. There is also pressure to purchase groceries from a particular company associated with the ruling party, even if quality is not good. There have been incidents where wardens have been transferred for refusing to do so.”

Currently, college students receive Rs 1,100 as feeding charges per month while school students receive Rs 1,000. It is unclear what the department plans to do with the kitchens in all the hostels. “There is already a system in place which would work properly if funds are released on time and external pressure is eliminated. There are kitchens in all hostels with all equipment. Preparing food and transporting it three times a day in a city like Chennai is unnecessary,” said G Vivek, an office-bearer of Federation Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Teachers and Warden Associations.

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