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Adarsh canteen of SPPU closed after lizard found in misal pav

National Student Union of India (NSUI) members at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) held a protest on Monday to highlight the unhygienic conditions prevailing at the canteen.

pune Updated: Mar 19, 2018 22:50 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Closed Adarsh canteen at SPPU in Pune, on Monday.(HT PHOTO)

Members of the National Student Union of India (NSUI) at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) held a protest on Monday to highlight the unhygienic conditions prevailing at the canteen in the campus after a lizard was found in the misal pav served by Adarsh Canteen.

“There was a dead lizard found in a misal pav that we served but we do regular fumigation and have also been inspected by the estate officer. It must have fallen from a tree and is a one-off incident. There were other students who had eaten the misal and faced no such issue,” said Siddharth Sawant, who runs Adarsh Canteen, which is now closed until March 21. Sawant, who pays Rs 1,18,000 as monthly rent to SPPU, added, “We have regular checks of ingredients and food items, but we have our share of problems. We are often cooking without an exhaust and many students and others had complained about low lighting and broken fixtures and fans.”

NSUI’s Pune president Satish Gore had called for a protest rally to the vice-chancellor’s office but had to call off as he was unavailable. HT visited the other canteens as well as the mess and found out that apart from the three canteens and four mess services, there were no other dining options for the students in the hostels.

Besides the canteen, students, especially boys, have complained about the mess at hostel number eight as well as nine, which incidently has been closed for over a month following complaints of unhygienic and substandard food. “The food was not up to the mark and the plates that they served us in were not even washed well,” said PhD student Mahesh Mali, who lives in the hostel. Mali and his friends have no choice but to go outside the campus for lunch and dinner. Some boys have also started tiffin services from private individuals who come to deliver on motorbikes. “Ever since the episode of bad food being served and students falling sick was reported, I have shifted to tiffin services, which are cheaper as I only have to pay Rs 30 for a meal,” said Venkatesh Patil, a student.

Sachin Jagtap, a Hindi MA first year student, recently got into a fight with the people running the canteen in hostel number 8 which was allegedly serving bad food. “Freshly cooked food are all kept together. The chapathis are bad and often not chewable. Despite our complaints, when the canteen authorities did not respond, we locked the canteen for two days until SPPU authorities took notice of it. We pay Rs 1,680 for 60 thalis and this is what we get,” said Sachin.

The women’s hostel also has a mess which is run by the same group which runs the Adarsh Canteen and has fared better than the other mess. “Earlier, we had another caterer but after the girls complained, the SPPU gave the contract to Sai Garden Caterers, who are serving better food as compared to before. We pay Rs 840 a month to eat at the mess,” said Lumbini Mhaske, an MA politics student.

First Published: Mar 19, 2018 22:21 IST