Rusty at the Start
As the New Year paves the way for a hectic spring semester, Team MM met with the Chief Warden in order to catch up on numerous issues. Talking at length about the recent out-break of gastro-intestinal maladies, quality of the mess food, accountability of the elected representatives of the Halls, here are the excerpts.
CW: Welcome to the first CWC of 2016 and I wish Monday Morning and all the boarders a very Happy & Prosperous New Year.
MM: Several boarders of the boys’ hostels were taken ill with complaints of nausea, diarrhoea and fever over the last week. Has an inquiry been made into the matter? What steps were taken to remedy the issue?
CW: When informed of the situation by the students I immediately informed the Warden, Asst. warden, and the food technologist with the instruction to visit the hall. I accompanied the HMC members and visited the mess. The water dispensers were cleaned and the candles of all the filters replaced. The only possible reasons for gastritis are food and water. The cooked food being an improbable cause, the water quality will be monitored. Phase wise cleaning of overhead tanks are being completed as we speak. The affected boarders were asked to get their urine and stool samples tested and submit the reports to find out a common trend and pinpoint the cause of the sickness. But the reports haven’t been received.
A committee is being formed for further investigations with the objective of determining the freshness of the food, the quality of water and hygienic conditions of the hall. Cleaning personnel have been instructed to clean the toilets regularly and as frequently as needed.
MM: Around 45% of the flushes in CVR are not working. The mirrors are cracked. The walls and shelves are very dirty.
CW: It will be immediately taken care of. The cleaning personnel are required to clean the walls and ceiling once a month. All students can get their rooms cleaned every week. The students need to be actively engaged and put forth their complaints.
MM: In the previous HMC, a hall webmail ID system was proposed. How is it functioning?
CW: The Warden and Asst. Warden of each hall have been provided mail ids. The respective boarders can directly contact the officials online and put forth their grievances. This will help streamline hall management system to a great extent.
To bring any complaints or issues to the notice of the Hall authorities, send a mail to the following mail ids according to your hall of residence:
Hall of Residence
MM: In the previous HMC the per day meal cost was increased from INR 86 to INR 90 but the food quality degraded since the beginning of the semester. The rice, spices, oil etc. have a prescribed standard. What about vegetables and milk?
CW: The problem here lies in the fact that there is no brand for vegetables. We wanted to tie-up with the brand Udyan Fresh but they have limited retail capacity, primarily because of it being relatively new here. Regardless, we are monitoring the food quality. If some vegetable are not abundantly available in the market, the caterers are allowed to modify the menu with the permission of the Wardens and the Mess Secretary. We are strict in maintaining that the menu not be changed much (<5% for a week).
Cooks of VS and MSS/DBA mess have been replaced to improve the quality of the food. Involvement of elected representatives and boarders is required in order to keep a check on the quality of the food. Anyone can go and check the mess conditions.
The only dairy supplier catering to us is OMFED. Strictly no water is to be added to raw milk. In tea, a 1:1 ratio of milk to water is standard. A dairy outlet has proposed to set up milk parlors but it is expensive. They could have a stall in the coming fest so that students can review their quality and compare it with the present arrangements.
MM: Two LAN ports were supposed to be provided to all double rooms in all halls. And yet they are not present in many halls.
CW: GDB has two ports in every room. Work is on in MV Hall. Hopefully within a month it will be done in every hall. Work is going on in full swing.
MM: Since the past ten days, boarders are harangued by slow internet and frequent disconnections. Is the LAN port construction in any way responsible? Or is there any other reason?
CW: The faculty are facing the same problems as the students, as far as internet is concerned. I spoke to the authorities and they pointed out that the Cyberoam license has expired and its renewal is awaited. The extra LAN port construction in the halls might be a viable reason but we are not sure to what extent.
MM: NITRAA is sponsoring a free Wi-Fi system in VS hall. What’s the status of that?
CW: We have sent a proposal along with project details to NITRAA. Around 25 lakhs is required for a long lasting infrastructure. NITRAA has started the fund collection process and the project will come to fruition once they are done.
MM: What’s the status of the central laundry system? Have new washing machines been installed?
CW: A web-mail has been circulated regarding this already. The new infrastructure is in place. Good quality, highly efficiency machines with large capacities have been procured. The cost has of laundry of various items of clothing as well as bed sheets has been reduced. The boarders are encouraged to make use of this quick and easy door-to-door delivery facility.If a large nuber of students make use of this facility water consumption will reduce . Furthermore, the drying of clothes in unauthorized places destroys the aesthetic value. Apart from this a laundry facility will also be made available in the girls' hostels where the boarders themselves can wash their clothes.
MM: CVR requires another common room, one with a TV to cater to the needs of its numerous boarders. What can be done about it?
CW: I will talk to the HEC members and it will be done. Such an arrangement is present in all hostels. Once a proposal comes in through the HEC another TV can be purchased and a new common room can be setup.
MM: Since the last 2-3 years, Monday Morning has been pushing for a system that will make elected representatives accountable for their actions. This could lead to the solution of many issues. What can be done about it?
CW: It is the duty of elected representatives to take their responsibilities seriously and we have been trying to impose a system to ensure better involvement of these people. It’s not like their actions are always taken for granted. There have been instances where students holding positions of responsibility have been removed for failing to do their actions. Further deliberations are required and the issue will be addressed in the upcoming HMC.