Mysore/Mysuru: Indira Canteens which were started in 2017 during the tenure of former Congress Chief Minister Siddharamaiah with the intention of making the State hunger-free are really feeding the poor.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are being provided to the poor everyday at an affordable price — Rs. 5 for breakfast and Rs.10 for Lunch. Idly-Sambar, Rice-bath, Puliyogare,Bisi Belebath, Uppittu-Kesaribath and Khara Pongal are being served on one item per day basis. Rice-sambar, pickle, papad and curd rice are provided for lunch and dinner.
Star of Mysore had highlighted the issues which are affecting the services of Indira Canteens by conducting reality checks of these Canteens in city.
During reality checks, tissues like defunct CCTV cameras, non-functioning hot water heaters, damaged switch boards and faulty electrical lights were noticed.
Food for all canteens are prepared at the centralised kitchens which is located in the premises of Alanahalli and Kumbarakoppal Indira Canteens. Though not much complaints were heard about the quality of breakfast and lunch, the only complaint about the quality of dishes was about curd rice, which is tasteless and not up to the mark.
When Star of Mysore brought all the issues to the notice of Manager Ramesh, he assured that defunct CCTV cameras and water heaters will be repaired within a week. He also said that the quality of curd rice will be improved.
Menace of drunkards at Indira Canteens
In view of the lack of customers for Indira canteens during night time, ‘REWARDS,’ a private organisation which has been given the responsibility of maintaining and supervising the canteens, began supplying about 2,000 plates of free dinner to attract customers.
“We are giving free dinner so that nobody go to sleep with hunger,” says REWARDS Managing Director Shashikumar.
“But after this free dinner scheme was launched, menace of drunkards has increased in most of the canteens. Instances of some customers under the influence of liquor abusing the Manager, showing indecent behaviour with other customers and even incidents of drunkards vomiting and falling on others were also reported,” Shivakumar added.
Because of such incidents, even regular customers are reluctant to visit the canteens and there are plans of lodging Police complaint if such incidents occur again. “Police patrol between 6.30 pm and 9.30 pm can solve this problem,” hoped Shivakumar.
Pending Bills in City Corporation
Mysore City Corporation (MCC) owes a total payment of Rs.3.8 crore — Rs.1.3 crore of last year and Rs.2.5 crore of earlier years. “How can we manage the Canteens in this situation? We have brought this to the notice of the MCC Commissioner, who assured that payment will be made soon. We are hopeful after this assurance,” said Shivakumar.
Efforts on to attract more customers.
Indira Canteens are supplied about 3,800 plates breakfast, 1,800 plates lunch and 2,000 plates of free dinner daily. Earlier, the canteens used to fetch revenue of Rs. 80,000 per day, which has come down to Rs.30,000. “The number of customers are increasing of late. To attract customers we have added ragi balls, papad and pickles and providing free dinner. Customers having sumptuous food is the only consoling matter for us,” REWARDS MD Shivakumar said.