While it is part of their job to raise their voice to improve amenities that aren’t up to the mark, perhaps the city’s corporators would inspire more faith in citizens if these demands weren’t so persistently made for matters that solely benefited them. After casting aside their laptops and demanding ‘handier’ iPads, the city’s corporators have now joined forces, and exacted victory in their protest against the ‘tasteless’ food served to them during meetings.
After a systematic protest, corporators are hoping that their refined tastes will soon be satiated with lunch buffets, instead of the snacks they are served. After the fare served to the civic body’s standing committee didn’t quite settle well on their taste buds, the members of the committee huddled to discuss the matter, and dispatched a complaint with uncharacteristic speed to the municipal secretary.
Members of the committee, and other BMC officials present at meetings are usually served tea and accompanying snacks like jhunka bhakar, sandwiches, cutlets and sweets, which they claimed are not wholesome or filling enough, after all the gruelling talk in the meetings. The gastronomic crusade began when members of the standing committee found the food too insipid. “The food wasn’t good, it was tasteless. So we had to discuss it with the secretary and the chairman of the committee. They were both convinced that changing the caterer was the only option. I asked why proper food with fruits cannot be served at standing committee meetings, like they are in the BEST committee meetings. Sometimes the meetings go on for 3-4 hours, and we get jhunka bhakar or bread butter to eat at the end, which is not nutritious sometimes unhygienic,” says Dilip Patel, a BJP leader.
Meanwhile, some other members from the committee have said that food cooked in Jain style should be on offer, revealed an official from the municipal secretary’s office. Raees Shaikh, who represents the Samajwadi Party, said, “We did not go to complain about the food per se, but since the chairman was late as always, the discussion on food came about. I’m not a big fan of vegetarian food, but it’s not an issue. The civic body should have good food and not just jhunka bhakar for corporators.”
Last year, the municipal secretary had proposed to hike the rates for breakfast served to corporators from Rs 50 to Rs 75 per plate, and for lunch from Rs 100 to Rs 150 per plate. A proposal was also made to increase the number of plates served at meetings from 60 to 100. Standing Committee Chairman Rahul Shewale said, “It is necessary to have good food which is nutritious and hygienic. We have proposed the same and it would be sanctioned soon.”
Municipal Secretary Mrudula Kulkarni said, “The corporators complained last week. We have told the caterers to improve the quality already.”
Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects) Rajiv Jalota said, “The proposal had come a year back and I don’t know what the status is now. But we would see to it that the standard protocol is followed to ensure that food of good quality is offered.” Quizzed about the status of the proposal he approved last year, Jalota said, “We will work something out.”