The Karnataka’s Indira Canteens have again been marred by controversy, as corporator Umesh Shetty has alleged that food served at the canteens are unfit for human consumption. He has reportedly based his allegations on food sample test conducted by Ramaiah advanced testing laboratory and Public health institute results which stated that food is not within satisfactory parameters.
According to a Deccan Herald report, the test was conducted on food received from Mudalapalya, Byatarayanapura, Jayanagar, JP Nagar, and Nagapura ward canteens. The sample items taken into consideration were rice, sambhar, and other dishes.
“The food given to Pourakarmikas (municipal workers) from the Indira canteen is not safe. After testing this in two laboratories, it is found there are harmful bacteria in the food which may cause various health issues.” Umesh Shetty was quoted by the report. He also appealed to the state government to intervene and take action against makers of such food.
G Parameshwara, deputy CM of Karnataka has said: “I have directed the BBMP Commissioner to check the quality of food provided in all Indira canteen in 198 wards immediately. If the food quality is found to be adulterated, we will take action against the contractors.”
The Indira canteen scheme was launched by Congress Government led by Siddharamiah in August 2017. It was inspired by the Amma Canteen of Tamil Nadu, with an intent to provide all meals of the day to needy, on subsidized prices. However, it has found itself in various controversies since its opening. Within two days of its opening of Indira Canteen in Bengaluru, reports had emerged that food at Indira Canteens was allegedly served without proper quality checks and in plastic drums.
In January 2018, the Karnataka Labor Forum had lodged a complaint with the DCP of anti-corruption bureau regarding a scam in Indira Canteen’s management. It was alleged that the government was showing heightened figures about meals served to people and thus indulging in a scam. The Anti-Corruption Bureau had filed the case against that time CM Siddaramaiah and Bangalore Development Minister KJ George, in relation to the case. In December 2018 also it was reported that money meant for the Indira Canteen Scheme was diverted to loan waiver schemes.