The Uttar Pradesh government will soon introduce a ‘Samajwadi Canteen’ to provide a meal a day to labourers, much on the lines of the Amma Canteen introduced in Tamil Nadu last year.
A plate of meal will cost Rs 10 and have dal, roti/rice, vegetable and pickle to offer. The add-on cost would be borne by the state government, said principal secretary labour Shailesh Krishna.
The Uttar Pradesh labour department is the nodal agency for the project, which has already hired a Netherlands’ firm KPMG as a consultant.
Krishna said that the scheme (which might later be renamed as Samajwadi Kitchen) would only be for the 15 lakh-registered construction labourers in the state .
The pilot project would be launched in Lucknow first and then extended to other urban areas. “Each kitchen (canteen) will have a capacity to cook and pack 20,000 meals each afternoon. On the launch day in Lucknow, nearly 7,500 mid-day meals will be distributed which would be scaled up to 12,500 two days after ,” he said.
These kitchens would be set up at a central location and food cooked and packed with all hygiene standards. It would be dispatched to various construction sites therefrom, sources said, adding this would what make these kitchens different from Amma canteens where a lobourer has to go to the kitchen to collect his meal.
Sources said the project was likely to be announced either on Samajwaid Party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav’s birth day on November 21 or the party icon, Ram Manohar Lohia’s birth anniversary on March 23.