CM approves integrated kitchen for Amma Canteens to cut losses

Similar to the chains of restaurants in the city that have integrated kitchens, the low-cost Amma Canteens would also have such a facility as Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has approved a proposal by the Greater Chennai Corporation.
CM approves integrated kitchen for Amma Canteens to cut losses
Customers queueing up in front of the supply counter at an Amma Canteen in Chennai (file photo)

Chennai

According to a Chennai Corporation source, a meeting was held at the State Secretariat on Tuesday and the civic body explained several proposals to the Chief Minister, He immediately approved integrated kitchen proposal.

It is learnt that Palaniswami did not reject any of the proposals and reportedly instructed the civic body officials to fine-tune other proposals. The source hinted that the Chief Minister would hold another meeting to finalise other proposals.

It may be noted that the civic body had sent proposals to revive the loss-making Amma Canteens recently. Apart from the integrated kitchen, the proposals include creating a trust to run the Amma canteens or to attract funds under corporate social responsibility from corporate firms. Another proposal is to allow individuals to adopt Amma Canteens.

The sources also added that the Chief Minister had discussed the possibility of tweaking the menu of the canteens to attract more customers. “But the final resolution is yet to be taken pertaining to other proposals. As far as the integrated kitchen proposal, we are going to initiate the process. This would also prevent procurement misconduct,” the source said.

Presently, food items served in Amma Canteens are being prepared at the respective canteens and customers had demanded uniformity of taste in all the canteens during a survey conducted by the civic body, before preparing the proposals. Once, the integrated kitchen gets ready, food items would be prepared in one place and supplied to all the 407 Amma Canteens in the city.

As per the records, the Chennai Corporation has incurred a loss of around Rs 483.75 crore since the scheme launch in 2013-2014 financial year. Surprisingly, the income from the canteens have been decreasing over the years despite the number of canteens was increased to 407 from 207. In 2014-2015, as many as 207 canteens made an income of Rs 40.52 crore. Whereas, the civic body only managed to earn Rs 24.87 crore in 2018-2019 that too with 407 canteens.

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