The first Indira Canteen was launched in August last year. The new mobile canteens will be operational near hospitals, bus stands and railway stations. Indira Canteens, which are being operated by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagra Palike (BBMP), provide breakfast at Rs 5 and lunch and dinner for Rs 10 each. The government spends Rs 32 per person per day, which takes their annual expenditure to Rs 115 crores for providing the subsidised food to around 3 lakh citizens.
"The Indira Canteens on wheels are cost effective...it costs around Rs 14 lakh each whereas we have to shell out Rs 28 lakh for the construction of a fixed structure for the subsidised canteen," N Manjunath Prasad, the commissioner of the Bengaluru civic body, said.
Earlier, there were canteens operational at 170 of the 198 BBMP wards in the city. The mobile vans are part of the government's efforts to ensure that all 198 centres have operational canteens by February.
"We have outsourced the security and the supervision of Indira Canteens and Kitchens as well in order to ensure the proper functioning and maintenance of hygiene and quality" Mr Prasad said.
The initiative by the state government is being seen as an attempt to woo voters in Karnataka which goes to the polls later this year.