The Municipal Corporation is geared up to open 16 budget canteens at various places in the city to provide ‘idli’, sambar rice and curd rice at subsidised rates.
A high-level team led by Mayor V.V.Rajan Chellappa has been identifying suitable spots to set up the canteens in all the four zones of the civic body. “In all probability, they will be inaugurated this month itself. The exact date will be decided by the State Government shortly,” Mr. Chellappa told The Hindu after inspecting some of the ards in Zone 1 and 3 on Tuesday. The canteens are coming up following an announcement by the Chief Minister recently that ‘Amma Unavagam’ concept which was launched in Chennai Corporation in February will be extended to other Corporations, including Madurai and Tiruchi. “In the first phase, we will have 16 canteens and places have been almost identified. Three-day training will be given to self-help group members who would manage the canteens. Also, we will provide Reverse Osmosis plants for drinking water,” Mr. Chellappa said.
City Health Officer V.Y asodha Mani and a few others from the civic body went to Chennai to study the of implementation the ‘Amma Unavagam’ scheme, he said.
According to officials, each canteen will be set up in 2,000 square feet area so that it will be convenient for cooking and eating. In Chennai, the budget canteens are offering 100-gm ‘idli’ for one rupee, 350-gram sambar rice for Rs.5 and 350-gram curd rice for Rs.3. Breakfast will be served from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and lunch from 12 noon to 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, a Corporation press release has said that the Mayor visited wards in Zone 2 and 4 on April 8 and Zones 1 and 3 on April 9. The funds for running the budget canteens will be shared by the civic body and the State Government. They will function under the supervision of the health wing of the Corporation.
“The selection of place for starting the canteen will be based on accessibility. Our target groups are daily wage earners and the needy,” an official said.
For Zone-2, the Mayor and his team have identified a community hall near Ramarayar Mandapam in Ward 35, Corporation Maternity Centre in K. Pudur (Ward 45), Jawaharpuram (Ward 47) and Gandhipuram (Ward 46).
In Zone-4, the canteens will come up at Subramaniapuram (Ward 87), Sundararajapuram (Ward 77), Tirupparankundram Bus Stand (Ward 96) and Avaniapuram Corporation ward office (Ward 94).
For Zone-1, the civic body has chosen a community centre at Sungam Pallivasal in Ward 50, C.M.R. Road in Ward 71, Anuppanadi Gate Lock Road Uzhavar Sandhai in Ward 57 and Thavittu Sandhai near St. Mary’s Church in Ward 68.
In Zone-3, the Mayor inspected Arapalayam (Ward 10), Melaponnagaram (Ward 14), Kalavasal (Theni Main Road) (Ward 20), Anaiyur (Ward 2), Palam Station Road, Sellur (Ward 37) and Simmakkal Karuppatti Chathiram (Ward 82). The final decision on exact the places for establishing the 16 canteens will be announced soon.
A. Mathuram, City Engineer in-charge, and Priya Raj, Assistant City Health Officer, were among those who accompanied the Mayor while identifying the places.