Beneficiaries to get bank loan, subsidy under KSUDP project

Street food preparation and vending will see a quality change in Kochi, if the plans of the urban authorities materialise.

Fifty food vendors, trained in quality food preparation and vending in hygienic atmosphere in specially designed carts, will come to the streets of Kochi within a couple of months. The Kochi Corporation took the first step towards launching food vending outlets in the city by convening a meeting of the beneficiaries of the project on Thursday.

The beneficiaries are all engaged in the business of food vending for quite some time. They will be provided a subsidy of Rs. 50,000 by the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Programme (KSUDP) and a bank loan of Rs. 1.40 lakh. The beneficiary's contribution has been fixed at Rs. 10,000.

The project is being implemented in Kochi as part of the Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana, a central scheme, which aims at “addressing urban poverty alleviation through gainful employment to the urban unemployed or underemployed poor” and “supporting skill development and training to enable the urban poor have access to employment opportunities provided by the market or undertake self-employment.”

It also aims at “empowering the community to tackle the issues of urban poverty through suitable self-managed community structures and capacity building programmes.”

The application forms for the beneficiaries were distributed at a function held at the Kochi Corporation. B. Bhadra, Deputy Mayor, distributed the application forms.

The vendors will be provided training in all aspects of the trade. They will also ensure that good food is served through the outlets, said T.K. Ashraf, chairman of the health Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation.

Plans are afoot to provide training for the beneficiaries at the Food Craft Institute, Kalamassery. The traders will be asked to surrender their existing carts to the Corporation before taking possession of the new ones. The Health Wing of the Corporation and the Health Officer of the Kochi Corporation will oversee the food safety and hygiene aspects of the project. Initially, the vendors will be allowed to operate at the places from where they have been carrying out the business. Later, they will be shifted to select locations, civic authorities said. If everything goes as planned, the designer food carts will hit the streets before March.