Amma Unavagams losing sheen

Amma Unavagams in Tiruchi are losing steam due to laxity in their functioning and poor patronage. Customers feel that the canteens have lost its sheen over the years.

Lack of adequate funds, infrastructure and poor management are some of the reasons attributed to the downfall of Amma canteens, according to the regulars and staff at the canteens.

The self-help groups (SHGs) who run the canteens claim that there is less patronage now. “Lesser variety of food, failure to upgrade the menu, poor maintenance, infrastructural issues had led to a fall in patronage. People complain about lack of varieties, especially for breakfast and dinner,” said a staff in one of the canteens.

According to Anbu, a regular customer, the canteen lacks cleanliness and is in a bad condition. "The dining space and tables are not cleaned regularly, and food is spilt all over. The canteens must be maintained properly.”

Out of the 11 canteens, only a few get 300 to 400 customers a day, while the others have very few. “Earlier we used to sell around 1,200 idlis and 300 plates of rice varieties, but lately the sales have dropped to half,” said a staff in the Anna Nagar Amma Canteen.

Despite the challenges plaguing the Amma Canteens, they continue to have regular customers. “For the past two years, I regularly have my breakfast here. Though the menu is outdated and the quality has deteriorated, I have little choice. Here I only pay ₹5 for breakfast,” said Sathish, a construction worker.

The Corporation has set out ₹3 crores for maintenance, but the lack of development plans in the current financial year raises concerns about the future of the canteens.

According to a senior official of the city Corporation, patronage has decreased post the pandemic and the civic body is waiting for the State government to announce plans to develop the project.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2022 9:55:16 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/amma-unavagams-losing-sheen/article65536984.ece