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Cleanliness takes back seat in Panjab University departments

Leaking roofs, filthy washrooms with non-functional exhaust fans, and overflowing garbage bins are some of the problems that students of PU departments face.

punjab Updated: Oct 11, 2017 12:56 IST
Ifrah Mufti
Ifrah Mufti
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Panjab University,cleanliness,PU campus
Panjab University, Chandigarh(HT File)

Panjab University (PU) students say there has been a growing mismatch between a number of students on the campus and the sanitation facilities offered to them as out of 82 PU departments, 60% are not cleaned. Cleanliness takes a back seat in terms of washrooms, availability of dustbins, surroundings of the water tanks, leaky roofs.


Avinash Pandey, student of University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), said, “The UIET has a good reputation but when it comes to sanitation, it stands nowhere. It seems the washrooms are cleaned once in two weeks. Doors are broken, there are no latches, window panes are missing, there are muddy floors but who is responsible?”

He added, “When the staff washrooms can be cleaned daily, when the desks for the teachers can be cleaned, why can’t the washrooms for the students or the classroom tables be cleaned. Meanwhile, for 3,000 students, we have a small canteen, which does not even have an exhaust fan. It leads to suffocation and that smoke out of cooking oil remains in the canteen.”

An ill-maintained water cooler at the Panjab University’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences ( HT Photo )


Similarly, another student from UIET, Vani Sood, who is also a general secretary of the PU campus students council, said, “We get the weekend and when we come back on Monday, we have to clean the tables and chairs with our own papers.The chairperson has been informed but in vain. Washrooms are in a terrible state. The food in canteen is unhygienic. Dogs create a nuisance everyday in the canteen.”


Likewise, students of the University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET), said there is no control on the grass outside the department and it is not pruned until it reaches the knee level.

At the University School of Open Learning (USOL), the conditions of the washrooms are even worse, where the water is usually seen leaking for the last two years. Students are forced to use flooded floors to get water. The lifts are in bad shape too.


Harman Lubana, student of the five-year law department, said, “Be it the three-year law or the five-year law, lack of clean washrooms has always been a major problem. Even when the washrooms become unfit for use, the sweepers are not called, unless, somebody complains about it. The washrooms stink badly, especially because of the non-functional exhaust fans. The departmental representative and even the students have written to the chairperson but to no effect.”

Besides, the food at the canteen of the law department is considered to be unhygienic and a small canteen behind the English department is also in unhygienic state.

Students shared washrooms are not being cleaned at the department of physical education.

The BDS department on the south campus do not have clean washrooms and the authorities have taken no initiative to solve this issue. Students claim the patients use their washrooms and then the sweepers do not have fixed duty on a particular floor. The washrooms in BDS department have non-functional exhaust fans.

A stained staircase at the department of economics at Panjab University in Chandigarh. ( HT Photo )


One of the students, Vidya, said, “A horrible state of our department is an understatement. They are unfit for use. We have told the authorities and they convince us that it will be done.”

Students of different departments complaints of not having soaps to wash hands.

However, according to Chandan Rana, research scholar at PU and former students council president, said the conditions of the washrooms in the sciences departments including chemistry, physics, are much better than any other department.

One of them said that they have to use the washrooms meant for staff, which are normally clean.


The initial responsibility of the cleanliness comes to the chairperson or the directors of the respective departments. The director of the BDS department, Panjab University, Ashish Jain, said, “It is surprising to know that our washrooms are in horrible state but I as we have to deal with a lot of patients with less man power, we are doing our best.”


■ Adequate cleaning staff for each department

■ Regular checking of the sanitation by the chairperson

■ Complaint boxes, which could be considered on a weekly basis by the department representatives

■ There should be team to keep a check on infection control

■ A common platform should be made for all the departments to address the cleanliness issues

First Published: Oct 11, 2017 12:55 IST