Response overwhelming, says Corporation Commissioner
N. Baghyalakshmi was one among the several enthusiastic consumers to have food at Amma canteens, moments after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa inaugurated the budget canteens across the State on Sunday afternoon.
The autorickshaw driver, who has 15 years experience, says that the canteens will help workers or daily wagers like her. “As a driver, I stand to benefit on two counts – one, I can save time spent on cooking breakfast and utilise the same to ferry passengers, and, two, save money.”
She says that if she were to cook food for a family of four like hers, she will have to spend at least Rs. 100 towards fuel, vegetables, condiments and rice. If the family dines at the canteens, the maximum it will spend will be Rs. 30 – Rs. 35. It gets to save Rs. 70 or so, which can be spent on children’s education or saved.
R. Jayanthi, also an autorickshaw driver, says that she can serve her student-clients in time as she will be able to save time by not cooking breakfast and having idli at the canteens. Plus, the canteens also come with a facility, as auto rickshaw drivers, they can have food as and when they want and at any of the 10 centres in the city.
There were daily wagers, casual labourers and many others who had food on the first day. Corporation Commissioner G. Latha says that within a couple of hours, almost all of the 10 centres had exhausted the tokens. “The response was overwhelming,” she adds.
The Commissioner has asked Assistant Commissioners in charge of the five zones to monitor the quality of food and ensure cleanliness at the centres. She says that at present the Corporation will divert staff and thereafter appoint a few in consultation with the Government.
At the end of the inauguration at the Flower Market centre, Mayor S.M. Velusamy, Ms. Latha, Deputy Commissioner S. Sivarasu, Chief Engineer in-charge K. Sugumar and others visited the remaining nine centres.
Mr. Velusamy has asked the self-help groups managing the centre to get ready for Monday’s work of serving people.
According to sources, the Corporation will pay Rs. 250 a day to each of the members of the 10 SHGs managing the 10 canteens. It will meet the expenditure from its General Fund.
The Corporation will buy milk from the milk cooperative federation (Aavin), rice and other groceries from Chinthamani and vegetables from the open market, the sources add.
A total of 10 economy restaurants commenced its functioning in Tirupur on Sunday.
For the predominant working class/floating population in the Tirupur knitwear cluster, the restaurants would be a big relief as it offers breakfast and lunch at rock-bottom prices.
The canteens were located at Kumaran Complex near railway station, old bus stand, Thennampalayam Market Complex, Chandrapuram, Nallur, Velampalayam, AVP Road, Aathupalayam, Pandian Nagar and Chinnasamiammal Corporation school premises at Kongu Nagar.
Corporation officials said a total of 12 cooks would be there in each of the 10 restaurants to prepare dishes, who were outsourced through women SHGs.
Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment M.S.M. Anandan, Collector G. Govindaraj, Mayor Visalakshi Appukutty, Deputy Mayor S. Gunaseakaran and Corporation Commissioner K.R. Selvaraj supervised the inaugural sale at the outlets.