Eat idli at Re 1 at State's own Amma-like canteens

Eat idli at Re 1 at State's own Amma-like canteens

Taking cue from the Amma canteens in the neighbouring Tamil Nadu, the State government is planning to step up to the plate by opening similar eateries across the state to offer food at highly subsidised rates.

The Siddaramaiah government is now in a hurry to open such canteens in busy places in Bangalore but is not sure whether the plan can be executed ahead of the LS elections. Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao announced in New Delhi on Thursday that the State government is planning to start such canteens for the poor but modalities are yet to be worked out. Rao said the canteens would come up in bus stands, railway stations, market places and hospitals. He said idli may be priced at Re 1, rice and sambar or curd rice at Rs 5. However, he expressed apprehension that the model code of conduct to be announced by the Election Commission may not allow the government to launch the programme. 

Sources in the department said officials have begun drawing up plans for the budget canteens with the help of NGOs. The plan is to start about 100 canteens in Bangalore City. If found successful, canteens will be opened in cities like Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli-Dharwad and Belgaum.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha’s initiative of selling an idli at Re 1 has been a huge success. AIADMK leader K R Krishnaraju, who runs such a canteen at K R Market in Bangalore on Sundays, had earlier urged Siddaramaiah to open similar facilities across the state. The department has not yet estimated the cost of setting up canteens, sources said. Rao is said to have convened a meeting of the department officials to discuss the plan on Friday. 

The department plans to tie-up with NGOs like Akshaya Patra Foundation, which currently supplies midday meal to children at government schools in several districts. The department would supply rice to the NGOs, which will, in turn, cook the food and serve it to people at places identified by the government. 

In Tamil Nadu, the day-to-day activities at the canteen are managed entirely by women’s self-help groups.

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