Chennai: After the hugely successful Re 1 idlis and Rs 5 sambhar rice, there's something else on the menu offered by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. Amma Mineral water has now been launched in the state at Rs 10 for one litre.
Amma canteen, Jayalalithaa's very own food security bill for Tamil Nadu, has been a huge success story. "These are all great moves by Amma. She has taken care of food. Now we can save money for other things," said a Tamil Nadu resident.
"When a person eats well, he gets the strength to work well. And if our stomachs are full, we can sleep well. Even the power crisis is a non issue against food," said another resident.
The Chennai Corporation has set up 200 canteens in Chennai at the cost of Rs 6 lakh per canteen and is looking to set up atleast 800 more. With idlis at just Re 1 and lunch at just Rs 5, Amma canteens are a huge hit among people from all quarters. The administration has claimed that in the last eight months, the canteens have earned more than Rs 13 crore rupees.
Dr P Kuganantham, City Health Officer, Chennai Corporation said, "Nearly 1.5 lakh people to 2 lakh people are eating at Amma canteens. They are happy and able to save money. Cost effectiveness to my view is the good health of the people."
While the Chennai corporation manages the canteens, the fruits and vegetable shops are funded and run by the Horticulture Department and the new mineral water scheme is being implemented by the Transport Department under its budget. The water bottles priced at just Rs 10 per litre will be made available in government bus depots within the state as well as state owned hotels on highways.
Political observers say with general elections round the corner, Jayalalithaa is doling out these welfare schemes one after the other. The Chief Minister is hoping that the success of each of these schemes would make up for issues like price rise and power crisis that are still haunting the state.