Day one of the much-awaited Indira Canteen left many Bengalureans disappointed with the eager visitors left waiting for hours for their meals to be served.
Many people, who work in nearby areas, and students had come to sample the food at these affordable canteens.
Lunch was served 3 hours late at the outlet on Mrakham Road in Shantala Nagar leading to a large part of the crowd dispersing after waiting for hours.
“I came here at 1.00pm and have been waiting for so long. I wanted to know what the place is all about since it is providing food for the poor but till now the food has not been served,” said Shoba, an employee with a private firm on Brigade Road.
According to the local corporator Moses, only six of the 24 centralised canteens are operational, which is why there was a delay in the food being served.
“There are 101 canteens and only six kitchens to supply food. The plan was to have one centralised kitchen for one MLA ward. But now six of them have to cater to multiple zones and it will take a lot of time to cook so much food,” Corporator Moses said.
According to a senior BBMP official, the centralised kitchens will be established within two months.
“The BBMP has had problems in acquiring land for setting up the centralised kitchens. The areas are being identified and work will be complete in a couple of months,” the official added.
In the Ulsoor outlet as well, lunch was served only at 3.00pm. Despite the delay, the people, who waited for hours to sample the food, did not go home disappointed and said that the food was tasty.
However, the canteen in Jayanagar ward ran into a bit of trouble when angry residents began shouting at the security guard during breakfast time.
In the Jayanagar canteen, over 500 people arrived at around 8.30am to have breakfast. Vangi bath and upma was served.
However, much of it was wasted as many people found it too spicy. The canteen opened at 7.30am and the food was over by 8.30am. Many residents, who had waited for over an hour in the long queue, got angry when the gates to the canteen shut and began shouting at the security guard.
“Each canteen will be able to serve only 400 plates of food. It can take two hours for it to get over or may be four or five minutes. Once the food is over, the canteen will closed,” the BBMP official said.