Thiruvananthapuram: Had it shown the fervour to kick off one of its thoughtful proposals in the last budget, the City Corporation could have evaded a lot of rebuke it faced in the stale food scare issue. The Corporation had set apart Rs 50 lakh in the budget to start ‘Cafe Ananthapuri’ hotels, a chain of hotels to be supposedly run by Kudumbashree women promising healthy food at fair prices.
However, in the last many months, the Corporation had forgotten its own proposal, until the food scare woke it up. ‘’The present situation is enough motivation for us and we are thinking of taking the initiative to start at least one hotel. But, you know, it is easier said than done. We need land, we need the resources and we have to keep any possible allegations at bay with regard to choosing the stakeholders and so on,’’ said Deputy Mayor G Happykumar.
The Corporation has been sitting on the proposal, reluctant to take it up owing to the need of land for the project. The local body, which showed the spunk to involve a women-run hotel in its annual budget, however, did not show the nerve to actively follow up on the idea. ‘’The fact is that we had felt the need for such hotels serving good food even at that time. Though we had not expected such a turn of events, we had hoped to set a model in hygiene and affordable price through our hotel,’’ Happykumar said.
It was the Kudumbashree catering units and the Cafe Kudumbashree eateries at some places that had motivated the Corporation to think along the lines of starting a hotel serving fresh food. The plan was to engage a ten-member women unit with the running of the hotel with the assistance of the Corporation. Though a chain of hotels was planned, there has been no move to open even one.
The death of student Sachin Roy Mathew, allegedly after consuming shawarma from a city hotel, has stirred up a hornet’s nest with the Corporation washing its hands of the responsibility of ensuring hygiene and good food in hotels.