Canteen wars have begun in Bengaluru and JD(S) seems to have stolen a march over the Congress. On Wednesday, the JD(S) launched its first Namma Appaji canteen in Hanumantha Nagar.
With the launch, the JD(S) has a head start over the Congress’ Indira Canteens, which are slated to open on Independence Day.
The JD(S) is eyeing the upcoming Assembly election in 2018 and has successfully launched its first subsidised canteen, dedicated to party supremo – HD Deve Gowda.
Ideated and sponsored by JD(S) MLC TA Saravana, the first Namma Appaji Canteen opened at 8am on Wednesday.
MLC Saravana is bearing the cost of construction, payment for the staff, groceries and maintenance of the canteen.
With a menu offering foods that are staple to the communities in Karnataka, the subsidised canteen aims at providing “hygienic food to poor families”.
Coffee and tea are being served at Rs 3 per cup, while breakfast dishes including idly, vada, kara bath and kesari bath are being served at Rs 5 per plate.
The traditional Karnataka lunch including ragi mudde, made out of millets and sambar and rice, is being served at Rs 10 per plate.
The pilot Namma Appaji Canteen will be open from 8am to 10.30am for breakfast and from 12pm to 3pm for lunch.
According to MLC Saravana, if the footfalls are promising, then the timings will be extended for tea-break and dinner as well.
The Congress government, during its 2017-18 budget, had announced the inauguration of 198 Indira canteens in all of Bengaluru’s wards. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced the establishment of these canteens before August 15.
However, the canteens have been mired in controversy as the BBMP, which is tasked with establishing and maintaining them, had begun constructing the spaces for the canteens in parks and playgrounds.
Later, the 150-year-old Murphy Town Library was brutally demolished and the wall of the 300-year old Rameshwara Temple in Chamarajapete was razed.
The Palike has so far got the go ahead for constructing only 75 of the 198 canteens. As the deadline approached, the government issued a statement saying that 125 canteens will be opened on Independence Day, while the remaining will be inaugurated on Gandhi Jayanti (October 2).