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Break bread at ‘Aam Aadmi’ canteens in 2 months

Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: In line with Tamil Nadu’s Amma canteens, the Delhi government is going to set up highly subsidised ‘Aam Aadmi canteens’, first of which will come up in two months to serve nutritious food in the Rs 5-10 range, aimed especially at the working class population.

A Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) proposal in this regard was approved by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today, setting the ball rolling for its implementation. There was no official word on the amount of subsidy required for the scheme though.

“Today the choice is limited for the poor when it comes to having nutritious food. They have to depend on food that is often unhygienic yet pricey,” DDC Vice-Chairman Ashish Khetan told reporters.

Although Khetan did not share much details, he said the canteens, that would be under the Food and Civil Supplies Department, would come up in and around industrial areas, hospitals, educational institutions and commercial hubs.

He said that the management of the canteens are likely to be outsourced to NGOs or private agencies. “We had undertaken studies of models of mainly two states. There would be proper mechanism for quality maintenance.”

Breakfast, lunch and dinner would be available in the canteens which would mainly cater to construction labourers, slum dwellers, students and office-going population alike.

When asked about the possible expenditure, Khetan referred to the Tamil Nadu model which, he said, needs around Rs 65 crore annually to run 225 canteens. “The detailed work map is being worked out,” he added.

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