Indira Canteens to serve food for free to daily wage labourers from today

People having food at an Indira Canteen in Bengaluru on Monday.

People having food at an Indira Canteen in Bengaluru on Monday.   | Photo Credit: K MURALI KUMAR

Caterers running canteens directed to provide soaps and sanitisers

In the wake of the complete lockdown of districts affected by COVID-19, the State government, on Monday, decided to provide free food at Indira Canteens from Tuesday to those who are dependent on daily wages for their livelihood.

Free breakfast will be provided from 7.30 a.m. to 10 a.m.; lunch from 12.30 p.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner from 7.30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on all days. The menu at the canteens will remain the same. Currently, Indira Canteens are providing breakfast at ₹5 and lunch and dinner at ₹10.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has directed the caterers running Indira Canteens to also provide soaps and sanitisers at the canteens.

It has also asked them to ensure that people keep at least 1-metre distance while collecting coupons and that canteen staff wear gloves and masks. The food will also be tested by the Health Department officials.

Venkatesh S., Special Commissioner (finance), BBMP, and in charge of Indira Canteens, said that at the beginning there will be 10% more indent on the number of plates. “Within one or two days, we will get a picture of how many plates are used and how many people visit each canteens on an average,” he said, adding that there will be revised indents on a day-to-day, time-to-time basis, depending on the response.

He also said that they were expecting at least 30% increase in footfall over the next few days.

Mr. Venkatesh pointed out that after the COVID-19 related restrictions, the civic body had witnessed reduction in the number of footfall in certain areas and increase in certain areas. “For example, the Indira Canteen at Majestic had seen a 15 to 20% dip as it is dependent on the floating population. In some residential areas there was an increase by 15 to 20% in the footfall,” he said.

Speaking to The Hindu, an administrative officer of Rewards, one of the two contractors serving Indira Canteen, said that they had all the infrastructure and resources to feed the urban poor. “It will take a day or two to get to know the pattern of consumption. Once we get a clear picture, it will become easy for us serve food, without wastage,” the office-bearer said.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 12:02:22 PM |

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