STUDENTS AT the Medical Girls’ Hostel will continue to suffer for a few days more as the meeting of their representative with the officials, including the wardens, in connection with the mess at the hostel held here today remained inconclusive.
The problem started last month when the contractor, who was running the mess, put up a notice to provide service only till July 31. He was apparently upset by the allegations (read blame) hurled at him by the college management after a cylinder blast in the mess in mid-July. There are about 200 girls staying in different blocks at the Medical Girls’ Hostel.
The wardens then approached a contractor who used to cater at all the college functions to run the girls’ hostel mess. The girls claim he gave good food only for the first week or so and once the girls had paid the amount for the whole month, the food quality deteriorated very fast. “We were not given salad as the earlier person used to give; but more than that, the food was of very poor quality; some girls even found insects in rice,” a student requesting not to be named informed.
Many girls stopped taking food from the mess and resorted to tiffin service soon after. And when it was time to pay for the next month nobody came forward, prompting the mess operator to shut shop.
At the meeting held this morning, chief warden Dr Pradeep Bhargava put forward a few conditions “in the interest of the girls” and said he would allow anybody who complies with these rules.
To the girls’ allegation that the present contractor provided bad quality food, Dr Bhargava claimed “no girls approached us anytime with any kind of complaint. The contractor chose to shut down as he did not receive any payment from the girls.”
The onus now lies on the girls to find out a contractor, as it is a students’ mess run on a cooperative basis.
The conditions put forward by him are that the operator would have to pay Rs 10,000 as deposit apart from the monthly rent and most importantly, he has to use commercial gas cylinder and not the domestic ones.
The contractor should also have fire-fighting equipment, Dr Bhargava said. Meanwhile, the girls continue to get tiffin from different places, but it is not a smooth affair owing to their uncertain timings. The earlier mess timings were very flexible but the standby arrangement is not satisfactory.
“We have suggested some names to the wardens; let’s see what they do in this case; most of the contractors may be able to pay the rent but the deposit is way too high for them,” Dr Kiran Agrawal, an intern and a students’ representative who attended the meeting said.