On Monday, the Karnataka state cabinet has asked to relocate Indira canteens from lesser populated areas.
Even though the Karnataka’s Urban Development Board plans to relocate Indira canteens from lesser populated areas, canteen management says that business is running well there. A regular customer at RR Nagar Indira canteen,, Vikram Patil said that the relocation would affect them as there is no other affordable eating joint nearby. “There is no place nearby that gives food for Rs. 5, where will we go?”
Shifting to already crowded places like bus stands and railways might not help them given the level of competition at those places, said Rajkumar, cleaning supervisor at the RR Nagar canteen.
On average, there are around 80 customers eating in the canteen everyday. “Relocation of the canteen won’t be good for us, we have permanent customers here and the business is fine,” said Manjunath, food server.
The supervisor of the Indira Canteen at RR Nagar, Mohammad Riyaz said that there are no issues with the business.
Another customer at the canteen said that instead of relocating to a newer place, the quality of food should be improved.
“The target audience for general eating joints is different from that of these canteens. Poor people won’t be able to afford food if these canteens are relocated to other places,” said Junofy Anto Rozaria, a professor of behavioral economics from Bengaluru.
Indira canteen at Nayandahalli has a daily footfall of around 200 people.“Most of our customers are people from nearby slums. Our canteen provides the cheapest food around this location,” said Kavita, food server at Nayandahalli Indira canteen.
LK Mamuddin, BBMP Marshal, Indira canteen said that in that particular area, most of the eateries are big hotels. So, relocating the canteen might be a bad idea for those people coming from nearby slums.
Chef Talk is one of the food suppliers to the Indira Canteens. Vinod, the area-in-charge Chef Talk, South and East Bengaluru, said that shifting them to densely populated areas might be a good idea. “Nobody provides food for Rs. 5-10, even the food vendors around the bus and train stations provide food for Rs. 30-40,” he added.
The food servers and workers at the canteens said that they haven’t received their salaries on time.
“Either the payments aren’t there or they are late. This has been the case for the last three months,” said Kavita. Manjunath said that the last payment that he received was in December.