BENGALURU: While the state government is yet to open all its 198 Indira Canteens in the city and expand its footprint to other districts and taluks, the project is mired in yet another controversy - of looting 2,48,400 kilos of rice, every single day!
In a letter, an employee who works at the Indira Canteen said that, "At present there are 158 Indira canteens running in the city and are selling 400 plates for breakfast, lunch and dinner separately. For a single plate of lunch and dinner, Rs 10 is collected from the customers."
While the menu clearly states that for lunch and dinner, along with rice-sambar, a portion of curd rice weighing 100 grams should be served, this is not the case, the employee said and released pictures to support his charge.
Of the 400 plates of lunch and dinner, curd rice is served to the first 100 people and the remaining 300 are given only white rice-sambar. Customers are not even compensated for the missing curd rice with extra white rice, he alleged.
Not stopping there he has given a simple mathematical calculation to measure the quantum of looting and said "If we exclude the first plates which are served with curd rice, the rest 300 are served without 100 gram curd rice. If we multiply this calculation with the same illegality done for dinner too and in all the 158 canteens, every day 2,48,400 kilos of rice is being not served to the people and looted.
This apart, the employee laments in his handwritten letter that employees are not given their offer letters, ID Cards, PF number, ESI, medical insurance etc.
"We are paid a meagre salary. While the cashier is paid Rs 9,500, supervisor is paid Rs 9,000 the cleaner is paid Rs 7,500. We are made to works right from 7 'o'clock in the morning and till 9.30 pm without any week off and leaves".
When DC took up the issue with BBMP Mayor Mr Sampath Raj he said "If something is happening on this magnitude it would have come to the attention of our local engineer and ward corporators. There would have been shortage, but I do not really think that the contractors are serving curd rice to first hundred customers only."
We have proper mechanism in place to track this, Mr Sampath said and while this reporter was on a call, Mayor was quick enough to pass the message to the control room asking all engineers to cross check if curd rice is being served or not and report back to him at the earliest.
On the status of employees working for the canteen, Mr Sampath said it is the responsibility of the contractor to follow labour law....