New academic session (2016-17) is all set to begin at the Panjab University (PU) by the end of July, but the varsity hostels continue to remain in a mess with lack of basic facilities.
When HT team visited one of the boys’ hostels, doors of some bathrooms were found to be broken; toilets were stinking and roofs leaking. Students staying at Hostel Number 4 alleged that geysers are usually non-functional during winter. And sanitation workers clean the hostel at their will.
“We have been submitting memorandums to the vice-chancellor stating the pitiable condition of the boys’ hostel, but no one paid heed to the problem,” said Saurabh, spokesperson of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). “The authorities have not visited the hostels even once to check if there is anything to be repaired or fixed.”
A student, Vishal Sarhota, who is staying in the hostel for past one year, said, “There is no doubt that we can’t get a room and three meals at such cheap rates anywhere in the city, but the conditions here are not hygienic. Besides, the quality of food is so bad sometimes that we are forced to eat outside. We are living here because it is convenient for us to attend classes.”
Last year, the national assessment and accreditation council (NAAC) team had pointed out the need for improvement in sanitation at the university hostels, but to no avail. Another hosteller, Rachit Grewal said, “It seems the university has taken boys for granted. They have assumed boys are used to such conditions.”
In a survey conducted by the PU) in June 2015, 40% of the students residing in 17 hostels of varsity had complained of unhygienic living conditions, uncooperative hostel staff and poor-quality food served to them.
When contacted, dean students’ welfare (DSW) Navdeep Goyal said, “The responsibility of regular maintenance lies with the hostel wardens. But whitewash or any other civil work has to be allotted to the executive engineers.”
Tomorrow: How does the girls’ hostels fare in comparison