The Vellore Corporation Council has passed a resolution at its ordinary meeting here on Thursday, seeking a government order by the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply for meeting the expenses in connection with the running of the proposed Amma Canteens in 10 places in its limits for supply of subsidised food under the Annalakshmi Scheme of the Tamil Nadu Government.
The Amma Canteens are to be set up in Gandhinagar, Bharathi Nagar (both in zone-1), Beedi Workers’ Quarters and Corporation Commercial Complex in Sathuvachari, Venkatapuram Road in Alamelu Mangapuram (zone-2), near the Corporation shops in Arni Road in Viruppakshipuram, Corporation School premises in Bagayam and Market High School in Kosapet (zone-3), and Neduntheru in Kaspa and near MLA’s Office in Anna Salai (zone-4).
It has been estimated that while the production of food in the 10 canteens would cost nearly Rs. 2.8 crore per year, the Corporation would be able to realise an income of only Rs. 1.3 crore from the sale of food in view of the subsidised price. It sought administrative sanction from the government for spending the remaining amount from the general funds of the Corporation.
The resolution sought a G.O. to enable the local body to purchase the rice required for the scheme from the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) at a subsidised price of Rs. 1 per kg, and for getting other groceries from the TNCSC at the price at which they were sold under the public distribution system. It sought orders for purchase of vegetables from the open market at the prevailing daily prices, and to obtain the milk and curd from Aavin. The resolution sought orders for obtaining the liquefied petroleum gas cylinders from the agencies directly at the subsidised price for cooking food in the canteens.
The council approved the expenditure incurred under the scheme.
At the urgent meeting held later, the council decided to spend money from the general funds for the purchase of cooking vessels for the 10 Amma Canteens at a cost of Rs. 3.60 lakh each, for which the contract has been awarded to an industry in Kalavai. It also decided to purchase equipments such as SS tank, HDPE water tank, one HP electric motor, hot & cool water dispenser, solar power pack, and solar water heater in all the canteens at a total cost of Rs. 73.30 lakh.
Water treatment machines
The Corporation decided to spend Rs. 15 lakh on setting up water treatment machines at the main office and the four zonal offices, and Rs. 7.50 lakh for the purchase of SS tank, HDPE water tank, one HP electric motor, hot & cool water dispenser, solar power pack and solar water heater in the main office and the four zonal offices during 2013-14.
P. Karthiyayini, Mayor of Vellore who presided over the meeting said that the canteens would function in the multipurpose community centres and other buildings wherever they were available, while in other areas, they would function in new buildings which are under construction.
The Mayor visited the Amma Canteens coming up in Kaspa and Gandhinagar on Thursday and oversaw the trial cooking of food on the instructions of the Commissioner of Municipal Administration.
She told The Hindu that a woman’s self-help group comprising 12 experienced cooks would be in charge of the cooking in each of the 10 canteens. The cooks underwent one-day training under a master chef in Vellore recently. They were also taken to Chennai to see the cooking of food and functioning of the Amma Canteens started there, especially aspects such as courteous treatment of customers. They underwent a health check up here on Wednesday.