Following complaints, SPPU plans to transform eateries on campus
Following the complaints raised about the quality of food by the students, Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has geared up to transform the state of eateries within the campus, including the hostel mess and canteens.
The matter was further aggravated after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered to shut down the canteens for a few days, thus pushing the varsity to take strict action.
According to few hostel students, after the protests, the university authorities have decided to cancel their contract with two previous vendors and now are approaching a new one, which will provide better quality food.
While talks with the catering and hoteliers associations are underway, sources confirmed that lack of basic hygiene facilities, like exhaust fans in the kitchen, chimneys, regular pest control, is stalling the proper implementation of the initiative.
FDA officials after a thorough inspection of two university canteens - Aniket and Adarsh had recorded the unhygienic conditions and had ordered them to be shut for few days.
“We have spoken to the Caterers Association Pune (CAP), Pune Restaurant and Hoteliers Association (PRAHA), to assist us in improving the state of food in the hostel mess and canteens with immediate effect.
However, what we can say with assurance is that this transformation in terms of the quality of food will be properly experienced from the next academic year,” said Arvind Shaligram, registrar, SPPU.
The objective is to provide healthy food at a low cost. As per the plan, each student is to be charged Rs 29 per plate.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Kishor Sarpotdar, owner of Sarpotdar Caterers, and the president, Caterers Association Pune (CAP) and secretary of Pune Restaurant and Hoteliers Association (PRAHA), revealed that the holistic improvement of the situation will take time.
“With my contacts and experience, I want to do my best to help and improve the situation at the university. It is not as simple as changing a caterer. A lot of students are now getting food from outside, some have paid the yearly amount to the last caterer and won’t want to pay it again.
“I have to try and maintain a balance so that proper hygiene is maintained and healthy food is served, at a low cost, without harming the business of the vendor. But, before all that the eating and cooking areas need to be thoroughly cleaned.”