Hyderabad: Neera Cafe to be launched at Necklace Road on May 3

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Hyderabad: The Neera Cafe and Food Court, which recently stew a controversy with its name, is set to be inaugurated on Wednesday by Telangana Prohibition and Excise minister V Srinivas Goud.

Neera, also called palm nectar, is extracted from toddy palms. Neera extraction is generally performed before 7 AM. Neera naturally ferments at room temperature within a few hours of extraction. Once fermented, Neera becomes toddy.

The drink Neera will reportedly be marketed as the ‘Telangana’s drink’ by the government. The cafe is built with Rs 12.20 crores in Necklace Road, Hyderabad.

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The state is going to build four Neera procurement centres at the cost of Rs 8 crores each in Nandanam of Bhongir district, Mudwin of Rangareddy district, Munipally of Sanagreddy district and Sarvail of Nalgonda district. The state has recognised 319 toddy tappers and provided training to them.

Life insurance to toddy tappers

The Telangana government is set to provide Rs 5 lakh as insurance to toddy tappers under the scheme ‘Geeta Karmikula Beema’, which will be provided directly to the bank account of their family in case of death while on the job.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao made the announcement on Tuesday and expressed his concern that during toddy tapping, unfortunate incidents of accidental slips and loss of lives take place. He said that it is the responsibility of the government to support the families of the toddy workers who died in such unforeseen unfortunate circumstances.

Protest by Brahmins

Members of Brahmin associations staged a protest at Necklace Road on January 10 raising their objection over the naming of the Neera cafe, when rumours floated that the cafe would be named ‘Vedamrutham’.

However, excise minister V Srinivas Goud later clarified that the name Neeramrutham was being considered and justified his statement by saying, “When cow urine is being called Goamrutham, why can’t Neera, a healthy drink be named Neeramrutham”.

While Brahmins argued that naming a kallu (toddy) shop after the Vedas was highly objectionable, Jai Goud leaders contended that Neera is non-alcoholic and even finds a mention in the Vedas.

The issue has been settled as the cafe’s name is replaced by Neera Cafe and Food Court. Takeaway is also available at the cafe.

Khairatabad MLA Danam Nagendar, union minister for Tourism Kishan Reddy, minister for Animal Husbandry Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Industries minister K Taraka Rama Rao, Home minister Mohd Mahmood Ali, Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker T Padma Rao Goud, GHMC Mayor Gadwal Vijaya Laxmi, and the chief secretary A Santhi Kumari will be present at the event.

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( With inputs from )

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