The long-awaited Anna Canteens offering subsidised food for the poor were launched in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) across Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday.
About 100 canteens were opened in 35 ULBs in the first phase. They would serve breakfast, lunch and dinner for just Rs. 5 a plate on week days.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated the canteen at Bhavanipuram here, and had lunch with canteen workers, lawmakers and officials.
Locals and workers in the nearby RTC workshop thronged the canteen and had lunch.
The canteens across the State offer a uniform menu that includes idli on all days or puri, upma and pongal on select days for breakfast and rice with a curry, pickle, dal or sambar and curd for lunch and dinner.
Addressing the inaugural meeting later, Mr. Naidu opened the canteens for crowdfunding.
He said anyone could make a donation in the name of their near and dear ones on special occasions and the names of the persons would be displayed at the respective canteen. “It (donation) could be for a few plates, an entire canteen, all the canteens in a town or the State. We will soon come up with a proper channel through which one could make a booking for donation or offer directly,” Mr. Naidu said.
Rs. 6 lakh offered
Even before Mr. Naidu finished his speech, elected representatives, bureaucrats and others from the community of Mahila Sadhikara Mitras, specially-abled, traders came forward and offered over Rs. 6 lakh.
Mr. Naidu said that in the second phase of the project worth Rs. 83 crore, another 103 canteens would be inaugurated by August 15.
“Once completed, all the canteens would be able to provide about 2.15 lakh meals every day. This is a record and an example of the government’s commitment to the welfare of the poor,” he said.
Each canteen is expected to serve at least 350 plates of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The capacity could be extended up to 500 plates when needed.
Every canteen sports decent interiors and a uniform elevation and design. They are also equipped with the technology required for electronic surveillance, issuing tokens and feedback system.
The project is taken up by the Akshaya Patra Foundation, which provides the meals, in collaboration with the Municipal Administration and Civil Supplies Departments.
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