Bengaluuru: Officials from the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, who are struggling to run their subsidised Anna Canteens, recently visited the city to understand the secret behind the successful Indira Canteens.
The state government announced Indira Canteens only in its recent budget and within eight months has almost reached its target. It is also now planning to take it to districts. But Anna Canteens that were announced by the Andhra government in 2016 have not performed to the expectation.
A BBMP official said that Anna Canteens could not take off as they had problems in finalising the menu, providing the needed infrastructure, etc. Officials from Anantapur, Chittoor and Kurnool were given a presentation and were taken to an Indira Canteen and the centralised kitchen by BBMP Special Commissioner Manoj Rajan.
Mr Rajan told Deccan Chronicle, “In a short span, we opened 151 canteens of the planned 198. Work is on for another 12 canteens and they will be opened soon. In places where we could not find suitable space, we are launching mobile canteens.”
Right from getting the needed infrastructure, equipment, centralised kitchens, menus, to hygiene, the project was spot on and all the canteens were opened soon, he said. “Andhra officials were impressed by the Indira Canteen project. Our model is unique. Unlike Amma Canteens in Tamil Nadu, where the food and civil supplies department sends the ration and each canteen cooks food based on what they get, Indira Canteens have a uniform menu. The AP officials were impressed by the standard operating procedure,” he said. Another batch of officials is set to visit the canteens and understand the project this week, he said.
Mobile canteens in 18 wards
In wards where the BBMP could not find a suitable location to build canteens, mobile canteens will be introduced. “As per the Motor Vehicles Act, we have provisions to run mobile canteen. Talks are going on to shortlist the type of vehicle,” said BBMP Special Commissioner Manoj Rajan.“As per specification, the vehicle should have an overhead tank, a sump to collect the used water and should be spacious. We will shortly finalise everything and have them functioning in wards where we could not find a government site,” he said.