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Come on DU, lift the toilet seat please

Most Aurobindo College students drink coffee before using the washroom.

delhi Updated: Mar 08, 2010 23:52 IST

Most Aurobindo College students drink coffee before using the washroom.

The price they pay for not having a useable toilet on campus is Rs 70 (a café frappe at the nearby Café Coffee Day ). “Do we have a choice? Most of the time there isn’t any water in the college toilets,” said Satyaman Kumar, a first year B.A. (Pass) student.

“The toilets are not cleaned regularly and, worse, there are no dustbins. We have to risk our health to use the washrooms,” said Kashish Gupta (name changed), a second year English (Honours) student of the college.

Lack of clean toilets leaves the boys staring at boundary walls relieving themselves. And Aurobindo isn’t the only institution under DU that fails to offer its students clean toilets and potable drinking water.

In Deshbandhu College, the toilets are dirty. The doors do not lock properly. And just in case they do, it’s a struggle to open them from inside.

At Ram Lal Anand College, the water purifier serves a ceremonial purpose. “We don’t drink water available in college. The quality is doubtful,” said a third year student of Statistics (Honours).

Even as some colleges struggle to maintain basic infrastructure, a few have taken the lead and outsourced the work. Lady Shri Ram College, for instance, pays Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 every month to a private firm to keep the toilets and a few other areas of the college clean.

Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) does the same. It spends Rs 21,000.

Though effective, the example isn’t possible for all to follow. “We can afford it because we have a generous alumni. It would have been impossible with the UGC’s annual maintenance grant of Rs 4 lakh,” said SRCC principal P.C. Jain.

“Basic cleanliness is the responsibility of colleges. If principals are unhappy with the grant, they should raise the issue with UGC,” said DU Vice-Chancellor Deepak Pental.

Pental also said Rs 2 crore has already been sent to most colleges to renovate infrastructure.

Some principals said they were looking for solutions, others said there are no problems. “It is completely untrue. The college provides safe drinking water,” said Ramlal Anand College principal Vijay Sharma.

Admitting the deficiencies, Deshbandhu College (evening) principal S.P. Agarwal said, “The blame doesn’t lie with the authorities alone. It's also the responsibility of students to help us in maintenance.”