CHENNAI: Serving food to more than 3.5 lakh poor people daily at the lowest possible cost, Amma Canteens remain major factor contributing to the overall cost of living of the city. With 407 Amma Canteens, the Greater Chennai Corporation is not only operating one of the largest chains of hotels in the world but also caters idly at `1 and variety rice at `5. “To have a tummy full of three-course meal in Chennai, `30 is more than enough for a day” A. Murugan, a regular customer of Amma Canteen said. Initially, when the Chennai Corporation threw open Amma Canteens, hotels that were located in areas of downtrodden people had been forced to reduce their prices and the effects of Amma Canteens can be corroborated with the fact that the eateries in the city remain unable to increase the prices of food items till now.
“For the past five years, cost of an idly at small hotels remains Rs 6 and chappathis have been sold at Rs 10. Had not for Amma Canteens, the cost would have skyrocketed by now,”said Murugan. According to the Chennai Corporation data, Amma Canteens have sold more than 49 crore idlis, 17.50 crore plates of variety rice and 21 crore chappathis in the past five years.