BBMP to seek Indira Canteen’s services for snacks

BBMP to seek Indira Canteen’s services for snacks

The cash-strapped Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has decided to order food for the council meetings from the Indira Canteen to cut down on costs, thanks to suggestions from a social activist.

Through an RTI (Right To Information) petition, activist H M Venkatesh had obtained documents that showed the spiralling cost of food and snacks bought from outside for the BBMP during the monthly council meetings.

Following this, Venkatesh wrote to the mayor, suggesting that the Palike can cut down on the cost by buying the food and snacks from the Indira Canteen.

The RTI petition revealed that the BBMP spent about Rs 80.68 lakh only on snacks and food at the meetings between April 2017 and June 2018.

The Palike was paying Rs 280 per plate of food and snacks for corporators, officials and journalists that proved to be a big drain on its finances.

“Indira Canteens, the venture of the Karnataka government, promises the citizens of Bengaluru clean and affordable food,” Venkatesh told DH.

“Keeping this in mind, I studied the food bill of the BBMP’s monthly council meeting, which approximately came up to Rs 80 lakh per year. This is expensive because the BBMP buys customised food from an outside caterer.”

It became evident that the council was not using the BBMP’s own Indira Canteen that provides clean and affordable food. “I highlighted this fact in my letter to the mayor and requested her to cut down needless spending of the tax payers’ money,” Venkatesh said.

Following his letter, Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun ordered officials to serve food from the Indira Canteen at the council meetings.

Speaking to DH, Gangambike said: “We came to know that the BBMP is spending more than Rs 1 lakh for food. We, therefore, decided to get food from the Indira Canteen to cut down on the costs.”

But she said the menu will be different from the one regularly available at the canteen. “Apart from rice and sambar, we’ll add some more items in the menu like ragi ball, chapatti and sweets prepared in the Indira Canteen kitchen,” she added.