Three months on, Indira Canteens still to be revived in Bengaluru

The BBMP has sent a tender proposal to the government seeking approval in June and is awaiting its nod

Updated - September 17, 2023 11:34 pm IST

Published - September 17, 2023 07:15 am IST - Bengaluru 

Indira Canteen at Ganganagar in Bengaluru.

Indira Canteen at Ganganagar in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

About three-and-a-half months after the Congress government assumed power in Karnataka, the revival of Indira Canteens which Chief Minister Siddaramaiah promised continues to remain a promise. The government is yet to grant approval to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to float fresh tenders.

The BBMP has sent a tender proposal to the government seeking approval in June and is awaiting its nod. According to the BBMP of the 175 canteens, 163 are currently operational. The government had promised to open 50 more canteens in the City. However, the BBMP has not sent any proposal for the construction of new canteens.

The canteens serve breakfast at ₹5, lunch and dinner at ₹10 each. In the new proposed tender, the same prices were to be continued. The total cost of three meals for the contractor would come up to ₹67 and ₹42 subsidy would be paid to the contractors by the BBMP.

Pending bills

Meanwhile, the BBMP is yet to pay the pending bills of the contractors. According to Cheftalk, a food and hospitality service, pending bills have mounted to over ₹40 crore and they are finding it difficult to operate the facilities. Cheftalk runs about 98 canteens.

The situation of Adamya Chetana, which runs about 40 canteens, is no different. Sources say that the Founder of Adamya Chetana, Tejaswini Ananthkumar had raised this issue of pending bills with Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister D.K. Shivakumar during her recent visit to him.

Promise of new menu

In June, the BBMP had also announced altering the menu, adding Ragi mudde, bread-jam, Mangaluru buns and Chapati.

Amaresh S., an RTI activist, said people were delighted when BBMP made changes to the menu. “But when will this be implemented? The BBMP says 163 canteens are operating but many have in reality closed,” he claimed.

A senior BBMP official from the Health Department, from the BBMP end, everything has been done to kick-start the process but the government has not given permission to issue tender. Once the tender is issued by the BBMP, the work of revamping of canteens and opening those shut will commence, he said.

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