Chennai, Feb 20 (TruthDive): Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday launched budget canteens where 100 gm idli will be sold for Re 1, sambar rice for Rs 5, and curd rice for Rs 3 on Santhome High Road.
With an intention to serve quality food at an affordable price to the common man, the Chief Minister has launched 15 budget canteens and also announced to open such 100 more low-cost canteens by March 31.
These budget canteens are run by women self-help groups, for which officials held three-day training session for the workers to prepare food and also gave instructions on maintaining hygiene. With an average of 12 members per group in the city, over 10,000 self-help groups will possibly supply workers for all the canteens commissioned by the Chennai Corporation.
At the Santhome restaurant, a total of seven women workers were observed working in the first shift and are expected to earn at least Rs 270 a day. Beginning in the afternoon, six women took charge for the second shift till 3 pm.
Kavithaa, a flower vendor in Mylapore who earned Rs. 100 to Rs. 150 per day, said she would rely entirely on the budget canteen for food that comes at affordable prices. Customers made a hasty entry into the canteen after the Chief Minister left the premises. Police had to intervene to control the mass crowd who thronged inside to buy food.
A customer at the restaurant said that this proposal will be useful to weaker sections. On Tuesday a total of 5,148 plates of sambar rice and 3,772 plates of curd rice were sold in all the fifteen canteens, said officials.
Meanwhile, daily labourers including slum dwellers welcomed the new launch of the Tamil Nadu government; roadside vendors expressed their concern saying that they will have to make a move to some other location.
A woman street vendor said that small time sellers like her cannot compete with government canteens when 1 kg rice costs Rs 45 and a cylinder at Rs 800. It is very difficult to survive after the launch of government canteens, said a mother of two.