After coming under severe criticism for asking people to furnish their identity cards to get free meal packets from Indira Canteens in the city, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) revised its rule on Wednesday, April 12. Now, the canteens have been directed to distribute food to the people without asking for their ID cards.
The civic body aims to distribute three lakh food packets free of cost per day (one lakh packets during each mealtime) to ease the burden of those in need of food during the lockdown. But on Wednesday, many of the beneficiaries faced issues in claiming the food packets due to the lack of an identity card or the lack of a working mobile phone number.
BBMPâ€™s decision to provide free food for the poor at Indira canteen is good, but the implementation is problematic. Even though it is meant for people who canâ€™t afford food, they have to provide a mobile number and Aadhar card to get the free food. pic.twitter.com/HOIPcCkygmâ€” Arun Dev (@ArunDev1) May 12, 2021
After inspecting the first day's food distribution at the Indira Canteens in the city, BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta told reporters that the beneficiaries will not have to produce any ID proof to collect free food packets from the Indira Canteens.
There are 15 Indira Canteen kitchens in the city. The food prepared in these kitchens is taken to the Indira Canteens set up in all the 198 wards of Bengaluru, from where they are given to the beneficiaries.
A BBMP order issued on Tuesday had stated that the poor, migrant workers and labourers will have to provide identification proof to obtain free food packets that will be distributed till the end of the lockdown (May 24). Noticing the trouble faced by the beneficiaries in obtaining the food packets, the BBMP clarified in a statement that beneficiaries can obtain food packets without procuring any ID proof until May 24.
To review the quality of food, Gaurav Gupta on Wednesday visited the Indira Canteen kitchen in Dharmarayaswamy where he instructed the staff to maintain quality and follow all the COVID-19 protocols.