In what could damage the architectural glory of the historic student centre at Punjab University, the varsity authorities have allowed the construction of a shop on the ground floor.
The shop has come up in the past fortnight in a hush-hush manner by making alterations in the original design and making changes in the glazing of the building.
Sources said the shop had been set up to provide students low-calorie high-quality food for which a proposal was received last year. However, Punjab University’s official architect Harpreet Singh feigned ignorance of the construction of the shop.
Dean Student Welfare Navdeep Goyal said: “Due procedure was followed in the allotment and the construction of the shop. The proposal, when received, was referred to an internal committee and has got clearance from the architect office. I do not recall the allottee.”
The university decision is likely to come under fire even as it is not clear if the building officially carries a heritage status.
A professor, who has been reemployed at PU, Manjit Singh said such (alterations in design) attempts were also made during the tenure of a former VC and any changes in the original designs were not allowed. “There are already a number of eateries at the Students’ Centre. It is one of the buildings with which the university is recognised. Such a commercial exploitation of historic structure should not be allowed,” he said.