Bengaluru's 'Controversial' Indira Canteen to be Inaugurated on August 16
File photo of an Indira Canteen in Bengaluru.
In the last budget, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced Project Indira Canteen which envisaged providing affordable food to the poor in all 198 Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) wards.
Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s populist scheme, Indira Canteen, is set to be inaugurated by the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on 16th August.
In the last budget, Siddaramaiah had announced Project Indira Canteen which envisaged providing affordable food to the poor in all 198 Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) wards.
The authorities on ground had just four months to implement his vision and worked on war-footing starting from finding the suitable land in the ward to mobilising the funds.
However, the project has run into controversy in many wards as the sites of the canteen were allegedly public places.
In Chamrajpet, BBMP razed a portion of the compound of the 300-year-old Rameshwaram temple and faced serve backlash. So much so, the Chief Minister issued orders to civic authorities to rebuild the compound and change the location of the canteen.
According to reports, near Cantonment Railway underpass where the structure started to take shape, the South Western Railway put up a board that the land belonged to them. However, the construction has still not stopped. According to BBMP, a MoU was has been signed with the Railway Department to use the land.
In Murphy Town, a library which was housed a ‘heritage’ structure inside was demolished to make way for the canteen. Sensing backlash, authorities took down the building early in the morning.
However, G Padmavathi, Bengaluru Mayor, defended what happened in Murphy Town. She said that the old reading room had become a den for men for illegal activities. The residents had complained about the place being misused. She also added that the Chief Minister had given instructions that no public places like parks, playgrounds can be used for the canteen space.
“BJP is creating ruckus, they are creating problem and opposing it because the canteen will come with Indira Gandhi logo. Common people are not opposing it, poor man who needs who is not against it,” she added.
BJP MLA Suresh Kumar said that the Congress government was in a hurry to finish the constructions and has been going about it unilaterally. “Congress is not asking anyone for their opinion. Instead of every BBMP ward, they should have started first in every assembly constituency. There is arrogance and that’s working against them,” said, Kumar.
The canteen will be open to public from Wednesday with affordable breakfast at Rs 5 and lunch at Rs 10.