Indira canteens to serve food at affordable price will be opened across Karnataka from January 1 at an estimated cost of Rs 185 crore, said a state minister on Wednesday.
"In all, 246 Indira canteens will be opened in all the 30 districts and sub-districts (taluks) across the state from January 1 to serve food three times daily at affordable price for the poor," Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister TB Jayachandra told reporters in Bengaluru.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is also the state Finance Minister, had earmarked Rs 100 crore in the state budget for fiscal 2017-18 to open one such canteen in each of the 198 civic wards across Bengaluru.
Around 134 canteens are serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in as many wards across Bengaluru since Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi unveiled 101 of them on August 16. Canteens in the remaining 64 wards will open by November.
Currently, there are 12 kitchens in Bengaluru to cater food to the canteens.
"The Directorate of Municipal Administration will identify location for setting up the canteens in all districts by November 17," said Jayachandra after the cabinet approved their expansion beyond Bengaluru.
The canteens are likely to be built by December 17 near bus stations, hospitals, railway stations and in areas where the population is not less than one lakh.
The daily operating cost of all canteens is estimated to be Rs 29 lakh, with monthly expenditure working out to Rs 9 crore.
Named after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the canteens are run on the lines of popular Amma Unavagam in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, launched by its then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.