Yogi mulls canteens on Tamil Nadu lines

Yogi mulls canteens on Tamil Nadu lines

After waiving farm loans of small and marginal farmers, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is contemplating replicating the 'Amma canteens' of Tamil Nadu (subsidised meal scheme named after former CM, the late J Jayalalithaa) in the state.

According to sources, the state government will be setting up ‘Annapurna Bhojnalaya’ (canteen) in different cities in the state, which would provide breakfast, lunch and dinner at nominal rates.

“Breakfast will cost Rs 3 while lunch and dinner will be priced at Rs 5 each. Thus, a day’s meal will cost only Rs 13,” said a senior official, who was privy to the information.

“The draft scheme is almost ready...It will be presented before the chief minister in the next few days,” the official added. Sources said that the government planned to launch the project in capital Lucknow, Ghaziabad and Gorakhpur (Adityanath’s hometown) on a pilot basis and later extend it to other parts of the state.

''We plan to set up Annapurna canteens in all 14 municipal corporations in the state in a phased manner,'' the official said. The scheme would benefit the poor, labourers, rickshaw pullers, daily-wage earners and low-salaried people, he said.

The canteens would be run on PPP (public-private partnership) model, he added. “Over 250 canteens are likely to be opened across the state...it will cost the exchequer over Rs 150 crore annually,” he said.

The official said the chief minister may formally announce the scheme in the next few days.

Govt orders probe

Meanwhile, suspecting a scam of about Rs 1,100 crore, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to conduct a probe into the sale of 21 sugar mills in the state during the BSP rule in 2010-11. The state government might consider recommending a CBI probe into the matter, an official spokesman said here on Saturday.

The decision was taken at a review meeting of the sugar cane development department chaired by Adityanath. The chief minister noted that nobody has the right to misuse public property and those violating it will be brought to justice.

The chief minister also said FIRs will be lodged against sugar mills if they failed to pay arrears of sugar cane farmers by April 23. He directed officials to take all measures to make operational the defunct sugar mills of the cooperative sector in next crushing season.

Adityanath said a committee would be set up to suggest maximum utilisation of resources of sugar mills during the off season.

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