Wayside eateries in the city are set for a new look, with Kochi Corporation distributing portable kiosks to select vendors.
The initiative to ensure the availability of clean food prepared in a hygienic manner comes from the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP). Consumers can thus get clean and tasty food prepared by vendors trained at the Food Craft Institute, Kalamassery. The project, said to be the first in the State, was inaugurated here on Friday by Mayor Tony Chammany.
Each stainless steel kiosk, including utensils and other add-ons, costs Rs.2 lakh. Of this, Rs.50,000 is subsidised, while the Syndicate Bank will provide Rs.1.4 lakh loan at low interest rates. The beneficiary has to pool in Rs.5,000 initially.
An official of the institute said the vendors were trained in preparing food, house keeping, the risk posed by different bacteria, used oil etc. They were also trained in behaving courteously to people.
“The initiative is in keeping with the national vendor policy. Its highlight is that the licence issued by the Food Safety Authority is mandatory for each kiosk. We want to ensure the availability of clean food in the city, in a phased manner,” said the secretary of Kochi Corporation Ajith Patil.
The authority or the Corporation can revoke the licence, as the beneficiaries are bound by the regulations. “Moreover, we will identify the location where they can function, thereby preventing encroachments and traffic bottlenecks. This is a pilot project and all cities in the State should take a cue from this. Agencies like the Kudumbasree can join the initiative and arrangements will be made to train and provide kiosks,” he said.
The Corporation’s Health standing committee played a crucial role in kick-starting the venture. The Rajagiri College of Social Sciences did the project survey.