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Karnataka: Yediyurappa announces free meals thrice a day for migrant workers, poor at govt-run Indira canteens

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Bengaluru,May 11: The Karnataka government on Tuesday announced free meals thrice a day for the poor, labourers and migrant workers at the 'Indira Canteens' across the state till May 24 during the lockdown-like restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Yediyurappa

'To ease hardships that come with the strict restrictions, three free meals will be made available to the poor, migrants and workers in need, at Indira Canteens in Bengaluru and across the state till May 24,' Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa tweeted on Tuesday.

In a letter to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta, the Urban Development Department under secretary N K Lakshmisagar said the poor, labourers and migrant labourers will be given free breakfast, lunch and dinner till May 24.

Accordingly, necessary measures need to be taken and a detailed list of the possible footfall has to be prepared, it said.

The government said Rs 25 crore out of Rs 300 crore released to the BBMP from the Natural Disaster Response Fund should be utilised for the purpose.

The government imposed stringent restrictions on the advice of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), ministers and opposition leaders.

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The advice came following surging COVID cases in the state.

The migrant workers had left for their home state last year in hordes complaining of hardship and no relief measures for them during the lockdown.

This time, the state government made arrangements for them to stay put in Karnataka.

Most of the migrant workers are the important workforce for various ongoing infrastructure projects and construction industries.

With this announcement, the Indira Canteens, the ambitious project of the Congress government led by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, would come to life one year after they were shut due to COVID.

The Congress had time and again alleged that the state government wanted to close down these canteens aimed at offering meals to the economically weaker section at a highly subsidised rate.

These canteens were built in Bengaluru and elsewhere after spending crores of rupees.

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