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HT Special: More area, low maintenance on Panjab University’s south campus

BUGBEARS Pigeons at the BMS block 2; wild growth at biotechnology department inviting snakes; and waterlogging on low-lying roads on south campus trouble students.

punjab Updated: Oct 12, 2017 15:40 IST
Ifrah Mufti
Ifrah Mufti
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
More area,low maintenance,Panjab University
Wild growth near the biomedical sciences department in Block 2 of the PU south campus in Sector 25, Chandigarh. There is always the fear of encountering snakes here. (Karun Sharma/HT)

New buildings, major departments but low maintenance as the grass around the hostels is unkempt and there is always the fear of encountering snakes on the south campus of Panjab University in Sector 25.

If compared to the north campus, one will find the students and professors listing the similar problems but making an addition to it. From poor landscaping to the wild growth, from garbage disposal to filthy washrooms are some of the highlights of the south campus.

  • Adequate dustbins should be placed in each of the building and long open stretches
  • Taps in the hostel washrooms should be replaced with the showers to save water
  • The cleaning staff and manpower, especially for the washrooms in each department
  • Pruning of the wild grass should be regular instead of waiting for a particular season
  • Infection control at the BDS department is required

The south campus houses three main departments--the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, and the University Institute of Hotel management and Tourism. It has one boys’ hostel and two girls’ hostel along with an International students’ hostel. Now, another girls’ hostel number 10 on the name of Neerja Bhanot is coming up.

In the past four years, six new buildings have come up on the south campus, including three half finished blocks, two finished blocks and one international hostel and accordingly the requirement of manpower has increased.


One of the major advantages of the south campus is that it has a larger area with not many buildings and blocks but the drawback is that it has low maintenance. According to the chairpersons, the manpower is a problem on the campus. The new buildings, where the walls are adorned with the tiles need regular maintenance but the tiles are popping off already in some departments.


Student Centre, departments, hostels and now the south campus, finding a cleaner washroom will be a difficult task. Broken seats and doors, missing latches, broken windowpanes, water shortage, water leakage, muddy toilet seats, blocked urinals and no soap for hand wash in the washrooms. Students said they keep a hand wash and a sanitiser in their bags.

Students residing in hostel number 8, on the south campus, said that the situation of the hostels there was no different. Similar problems of ill-maintained washrooms, littered corridors and water shortage and even the leakage troubles the students.

One of the students, Anuradha Singh, said, “The washrooms are all new, they have English seats and white tiles in all washrooms but who is responsible to clean them. There are no soaps or even a toilet paper in the washrooms and the water shortage is a major problem.”


Students complain that since the Sector-25 colony is adjacent to the south campus, the cleanliness takes a back seat as the children from the colony keep roaming around littering. Especially at the time of school hours, when they go back home, they are found littering on the campus and having their tiffin boxes in the open grounds.


Not only the students but the professors also have complained about poor landscaping on the south campus with ill-maintained drainage system.


Students’ leader and some professors on the south campus said that the garbage disposal system is not implemented rightly as the dustbins available here are much less than compared to the north campus.There are certain paths and stretches where one can see the garbage dumped.


A professor from the biotechnology department said the wild growth of grass around the department invites small snakes. Overgrown grass could be seen around the biomedical sciences department, near the incubation centre, connecting path of the canteen and the UIET department and also behind the BMS Block 2.

Also, thepigeons have made their homes around the BMS block 2, leading to a stench and unhygienic surroundings for the students. There is no infection control here as well, thus dengue cases are also reported.


The students of departments on the south campus complain of having low-lying roads at the entrances, where water gets accumulated during the rain, making it difficult to enter the department, especially the biomedical sciences department.

Karanvir Singh, vice-president of the Panjab University campus students council (PUCSC) said, “We have observed that to get a particular work done on the campus, one has to go through long processes. First a memorandum will be submitted to the vice- chancellor; then the V-C will suggest us to talk to the executive engineer (XEN), who will further delay the work. Same is the case with the cleanliness work.”

Professor Rajat Sandhir from the department of biotechnology, said, “Considering the new building of our department, more manpower is required for the upkeep of the building. Landscaping needs to be done and then the basic amenities for the students need to be in place.”


“The cleanliness level of the south campus is better but in terms of hygiene, it stands nowhere. We put up notices on washrooms everyday for the students to maintain hygiene but when the cleaning staff is not regular, students are not to be blamed,” UIET’s Manish Choudhary said.

Pankaj Dhaka, also from UIET, said, “The area between the parking and the UIET entrance becomes a trouble for students during the rain because it gets filled with water and that leads to diseases because it takes three days to dry up. Also, food in the canteen is not hygienic as it gives us stomach ache.”

“It becomes difficult at times to stay back in departments because of the filthy washrooms. Why can’t the authorities take charge and see to it by themselves. Why don’t the departmental representatives complain to the authorities and prioritise the issue,” Apoorva from the biotechnology department said.

“The BDS department has a lot of cleanliness issues. The patients visiting the department are largely from a neighbouring colony in Sector 25. The department needs additional manpower to maintain the cleanliness and make it infection free,” Shivan Narang, BDS, said.


Chairpersons and directors of the departments are responsible. While the responsibility of the hostels is of the wardens under the headship of the dean students’ welfare. The chairpersons believe that the departments on the south campus are cleaner than the north campus but admit that adequate manpower required for the upkeep of the departments and other new buildings.

First Published: Oct 12, 2017 15:38 IST