Limited Meals at Indira Canteens Leave B’lureans Wanting More
After initial glitches, Indira canteen became fully operational – but not everyone is happy.
The queue for a meal at Shantalanagar Indira Canteen starts all the way from the dining area, snakes around the courtyard and finishes at the main road. On Friday afternoon, the rush for the lunch was maddening and the meals were running out quickly.
On Thursday, the first day of service, the situation was much different. Chaos prevailed in most of the Indira canteens like Shantalanagar in central Bengaluru, where the food was served following a one-and-a-half-hour delay.
In some other locations like Pulakeshinagar or Millers Road, the Indira canteens wore a deserted look on day 1, as no food was served. Logistical issues like transportation were cited as reasons for the delay.
By Friday, however, service at the canteens were streamlined. Breakfast and lunch were served without any major breakdowns.
The limited quantity of meals was the bone of contention at the canteens on Friday. The BBMP had only planned for 1,500 plates per canteen per day. But because of the hype around the canteens and the Rs 10 price tag, people have been streaming in.
At several locations, people were disappointed as the meals ran out. Joseph, one of the volunteers at the Shantalanagar canteen, said that after their allotted meals ran out, they had to get additional supplies. Even that ran out in no time.
The organisers blamed the number of middle-class visitors for the shortfall. Venkatappa, an autorickshaw driver said:
I asked a well-dressed man standing in front of me how much he earned and he said he earned way more than I did. But when I asked him why he was standing in line there, he said he just wanted to taste the food and it was open to everyone. Because of people like him, there is a shortage.
Modelled on Tamil Nadu’s Amma Canteen, which was a huge hit, the Indira Canteen by the Congress government has been launched with the 2018 Assembly Elections in sight.
JD(S), with the intention of stealing Congress’ thunder, had launched Appaji canteen in mid-July. Although the Appaji canteen, named after JD(S) supremo HD Devagowda, offered food at similar rates, its impact was drowned out in the subsequent Indira wave.
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