Chennai

Substandard food served in eateries at Secretariat: customers

Over 5,000 govt. staff and hundreds of outsiders visit them

With inadequate inspections and lack of monitoring, eateries in the Secretariat in the city are serving substandard food to over 5,000 government employees working on the campus and hundreds of visitors.

Staff from various departments, who frequent the eateries, allege that food items served are substandard. In the absence of competitors, they are forced to eat at the eateries. “Many a times, we realised food from the previous day is served the next day. Just because there are no major players on the campus, these eateries are taking us for a ride,” an official said.

The only relief is the cooperative canteen. “At least in the cooperative canteen, our feedback is taken seriously and they rectify if we make a complaint. The private eateries are not under anyone’s control. You can see people urinating near one of the eateries,” said a Section Officer from a department.

Banned 20 years ago

After a G.O. that banned private eateries on the campus 20 years ago, the eateries took refuge in the buildings under the control of the Army on the campus. “One of them got a stay from the court. Presently, a few of them are in State government buildings and others operating from Army buildings. Unless there are regular inspections by the Greater Chennai Corporation’s Health Department and FSSAI, these eateries cannot be controlled,” pointed out an employee.

Only if well-known hotels are allowed to function on the campus, the eateries will be forced to supply quality food, a cross-section of the government staff said. At least about 2,000 people visit the Secretariat during the Assembly session and about 1,000 people visit the campus on other days.

Deputy Commissioner (Health) of the Greater Chennai Corporation P. Madhusudhan Reddy said the inspection for quality of food was by the Food Safety Department. “However, hygiene and public health are our subjects and we will send a team to check the claims. If the complaints are found true, we will take action,” he said.

The Public Department officer in-charge of the Secretariat campus A.R. Rahul Nadh was not available for comment.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 6:46:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/substandard-food-served-in-eateries-at-secretariat-customers/article30722165.ece

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