A day after a delegation from Egypt praised "Amma canteens" and expressed desire to replicate it in their country, chief minister Jayalalithaa today ordered setting up of 360 more such canteens across Tamil Nadu and announced that these would start functioning soon.
"I have ordered 360 new Amma canteens in Tamil Nadu to ensure that the utility of Amma Unavagam (canteen), a bedrock of support for the poor, should reach people in other urban centres as well," Jayalalithaa said in a statement here.
The popular canteens were launched by Jayalalithaa in 2013 to provide quality food at subsidised price to the people, especially the poor.
Chennai's 200 wards already have one Amma canteen each. Now each ward will get one more canteen.
Similarly, 27 canteens will be set up in the premises of government general hospitals in district headquarters except towns which already have Amma canteens.
Also, 129 canteens will be created in 124 municipalities and Corporations of Dindigul and Thanjavur will have one each. Coimbatore and Madurai corporations will get one more Amma canteens each. Totally, 360 new Amma canteens will be set up.
"I am happy to announce that these new canteens will start functioning soon and totally 654 (existing and new) Amma canteens will fulfill the needs of the people," she said.
Pointing out that the canteens protected the ordinary and poor people from price rise, Jayalalithaa said the project was being discussed globally. "Several other States have evinced keen interest in implementing the model."
Buoyed by the very good response of the general public to the Amma canteen, new ones were set up in the the premises of big hospitals like the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital here to cater to the needs of patients and general public visiting the hospital.
Mohammed Adel Rezek, Accreditation Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry (Egypt) and Ahmed Khalil, Technical Assessor, visited a canteen functioning in the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital premises on Saturday.