If things go according to the plans of the administration, residents of the city can soon get food at highly subsidised rates.
The administration is planning to start mobile canteens, which will provide meal to people between Rs 5 and Rs 10.
The canteens will be run by the labour department in association with the food and supplies department and non-government organisations (NGO).
Giving details about the initiative, assistant labour commissioner Naveen Sharma said the canteens will be set up in different parts of the city offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“These canteens will mainly cater to the construction and industrial workers, slum dwellers and people coming to the city for medical treatment and other works. People will be provided nutritious food at highly subsidised rates in hygienic conditions,” said Sharma.
The administration is yet to decide on the number of canteens that will be set up initially.
According to the official figures, there are around 6,000 labourers and industrial workers registered with the labour department, while unregistered labourers are expected to be around 10,000. In addition, around 50,000 people are residing in different slums of the city.
On the finance model developed for these canteens, Sharma said they are working on the modalities that are expected to be framed shortly.
The labour department is planning to rope in different NGOs, which are already working in this field for running these canteens. The authorities will keep a close watch on the quality of food.
Similar canteens are being run in Chennai and Delhi.
Harbhajan Singh Ghambir, vice-president, Chandigarh chapter of All India Trade Union, said it is going to be a step in the right direction. “Since Chandigarh has now been declared a kerosene-free city, the move will bring a lot of relief to the labourers and other working community. Even if they don’t have fuel to cook at home, they will now have a place to get food and that too at subsidised rates,” said Ghambir.
After Chandigarh was declared kerosene-free city from April 1, all the kerosene oil depots in the city were closed down by the administration.