Standing Tall: G.D. Birla Hall of Residence

Standing Tall: G.D. Birla Hall of Residence

Jan 16, 2017 | Abyakta Patra Anshuman Bebarta

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G.D. Birla hall of residence is inarguably one of the finest hostels of NITR, owing to its proximity to the academic area, Hexagon Restaurant, Jo’z, Moksha and ATM. With its large-sized rooms, that are remarkably more spacious than the rooms of M.V. hall of residence, this hall has always been the first choice for newbies. In the last academic year, the hall witnessed some crucial developments that connected the missing dots and fulfilled all the demands of its boarders. As NITR enters into a fresh semester, team MM decided of doing the annual review of the hall. Read on to find more:

Boarding:

The one thing G.D. Birla boarders take mighty pride in, is its room conditions, as compared to other halls of residence. The boarders at this hall are allotted rooms that are high-ceilinged with perfectly bleached and whitewashed walls which are spaced at a distance apart to conveniently accommodate two individuals in addition to two study desks, two beds, two cupboards with manual locking mechanism enabled, and two charging ports. The windows of the rooms are thoroughly grilled so as to pre-empt any casualties for the boarders residing in the first and second floors. Most of the rooms are well-equipped with two tube lights and one ceiling fan. Any defective or faulty ones so encountered will have to be brought to the notice of the chief warden after which an electrician will repair the same within two days’ notice. The rooms are swept by the maintenance folks on weekends and a register is maintained that keeps a record of the date, time and signature of the boarder whose rooms are cleaned.

The warden of the Hall, Prof. Ananta C. Pradhan said:

The cleaning and maintenance staffs are available in the hostel 24x7. Whenever there is any complaint from the boarders, they immediately act on it and try to solve the problems. Besides that, workers upon request also clean the rooms of boarders

 

Hall maintenance:

The corridor floors are mopped and vacuumed on a daily basis. The corridor walls are dusted and sanitized whenever need be. There are wall-mounted dustbins in every corridor which are cleared from time to time. Fumigation is carried out every Sunday evening to throttle the mosquito infestation in the hall. Foraging bees often build hives on the high walls of the building which often becomes a very dangerous problem for the boarders. However, similar instances of infestations have been successfully dealt with by the Hall management. Commenting on this issue, Prof. Ananta C. Pradhan said:

 

Recently, few honeycombs have been discovered and we have destroyed them immediately after registering the complaint. It is a request to the boarders to let me know of the presence of honeycombs at any location of the hall and the workers will soon react to destroy them

 

However, stray dogs seldom enter the hall premises through the cycle stand gate and cause a nuisance to the boarders. Responding to it, the general secretary said:

 

“We don’t get dog catchers in here much and sometimes dogs enter the hostel premises. One permanent way of dealing with this is installing automatic hydraulic stoppers at the cycle stand gates which have proven to be very efficient but these instances are rather rare and the security personnel ensures that we don’t face such problems. Even so, if we face any serious problem concerning this, we will take steps”

 

Lawn Maintenance:

 

NITR, which boasts itself of being a campus of serene beauty providing a soothing contrast to whoever treads in, the garden of GDB just keep contributing more and more to it. The garden is well lit, well maintained and is mowed regularly in order to curb the pest and mosquito problems. The hall maintenance has been relentless in dealing with stagnant water sources which often become breeding places for mosquitoes. Adding to it, G.D. Birla Hall has not experienced any snake sighting in the last academic year, unlike most other halls, and that itself speaks volumes about its maintenance status. However, such a serene garden lacks proper benches in the garden that could have been used by the boarders to relax and refresh themselves amidst fresh air surrounding them.

 

Bathroom conditions:

Bathroom maintenance is one of the indispensable and uncompromisable requirements any place demands. When it comes to that, G.D. Birla Hall of residence has been a little underperforming, to say the least, with an otherwise well-maintained ambience. The hall is divided into 3 blocks – A, B and C. The blocks connecting A and B have two common bathrooms on each floor and the C-block has 2 bathrooms of its own on each floor. Each bathroom has 3 washbasins, 3 toilets, 3 urinals with shoulder height walls partitioning each of them, 3 bathrooms with taps and shower facilities in each, one exhaust fan and one geyser. Here is the detailed report on the functionality of each of the aforementioned things.

 

 

Equipment

Total no.of

(in 1st Floor)

No. of damaged

(in 1st floor)

Total no.of 

(in 2nd Floor)

No. of damaged

(in 2nd floor)

Total no.of 

(in 3rd Floor)

No. of damaged

(in 3rd floor)

Total no.of 

(in Ground Floor)

No. of damaged

(in ground floor)

Geysers

 

5

 1

5

2

2

2

5

1

Water Coolers

2

0

2

0

1

0

2

0

Urinals

 

16

6

16

5

6

2

16

5

Toilets

 

15

7

15

4

6

3

15

7

Bathrooms

 

15

4

15

5

6

2

15

4

 

 

(Note – Anything not in its perfect condition has been termed as faulty)

 

 All the broken mirrors have been recently changed by the hall management and the hall executive council has given its word to look into the yet to be fixed bathroom elements in the hall.

Prof. Ananta C. Pradhan said:

 

“Regarding geysers, urinals, etc., most of them are in working conditions yet whenever we find one to be in unusable condition we direct our maintenance staff to either fix it or replace it”

 

Sports facilities:    

The sports facilities in this hall are also something that has carved out a niche for itself over the past couple of years. With the advent of building shuttle-courts inside the hall last year, the hall catered to the one thing badminton enthusiasts had always complained about. The badminton courts have been relined with acrylic white paints and nets, bulbs which have been replaced with LEDs are in proper working condition. The hall also has a volleyball arena which is common to both GDB and MV halls. The volleyball arena, however, seems neglected as compared to its badminton counterpart. Table tennis boards and indoor games are also available but the boarders had a specific discontent about the insufficiency in table tennis equipment. Commenting about the utilisation of hall’s sports funds, the sports secretary said:

 

The volleyball arena has been renovated last semester i.e. new bulbs and nets were installed. Regarding table tennis, we have only one functional table tennis board but we have sent a list of items that needs to be procured and table tennis equipments form a important part in that

 

Clearing the air about these matters, the warden Ananta Pradhan said:

 

“I had asked the Sports Secretary to prepare a list of items to be procured and he submitted me one. As per the list, I had asked a vendor to deliver the items. However, because of certain constraints, the procedure was delayed and we have received 75-80% of the items only. Last week, I talked to the vendor warning him to deliver all the items by 18th January, failing by which, we will cancel the order and hand it over to some other vendor by 20th January. We can’t afford to have more delays now because the intra-hall competitions are scheduled to begin in a few weeks”

 

Recreational areas:

The hall has a common room, a reading room stocked with newspapers, journals and magazines, and a TV room equipped with a working TV having subscriptions on numerous channels. The reading room is shelved properly to stack the newspapers which are deposited on a regular basis. The hall also contains a music room which has been inactive for a long time. Commenting about that, the cultural secretary said:

 

“The music room has been inactive for the most part of the year and we will definitely try to renovate it for better. The common room near the main entrance is currently being used by the boarders for practice”

 

The warden was unaware of the Music room. The warden thanked MM for informing him of the Music room and assured to take initiatives to renovate it in the near future so that GDB will get a fully functional Music room with proper equipment.

GDB also has a private gymnasium with a certified trainer at its dispense.

 

Mess:

R.N Patel cafeteria is the common mess for both of the first year hostels is one of the finest messes in terms of quality and hygiene maintained, owing to its caterer’s 30-year-old history with it. With the exception of a few meals of the week, the food is mostly palatable. However, the evening snacks are disconcertingly less in quantity and repeated requests to increase the quantity by appropriately normalising the per day mess charge seemed to have accomplished very little. The hall council has been very upbeat and flexible about updating the mess menu from time to time to make it more balanced. The kitchen and dining utensils are sufficient in number and the hygiene standards, in particular, stands out in this particular context.

The General Secratary added:

 

“Keeping in mind the outbreak of Bird Flu in Rourkela, cooking of all chicken and egg items have been stopped and will be once again resumed as and when directed by the chief warden. The mess staffs have been focusing more on mutton, fish and sweets (for veg) to normalise the per day charge.”

 

The hall has a juice centre that sells fruits and juice in addition to some food items. In addition, the night canteen has a wide variety of food and snack items, seeking to cater to boarders who are usually late bed-goers. However, the price list and menu of the canteens hasn’t been updated from a long time.

Prof. Ananta C. Pradhan said:

 

“Regarding rate chart of night canteen, I took the initiative and made surprise visits to the canteens where I found certain items to be over-priced. Then we called for a meeting with all the caterers in Chief Warden’s office, where we finalised the menu as per their suggestions and fixed the price for each item. This topic was supposed to be discussed in the next HMC but we didn’t have the HMC after that. We will definitely take up this issue in the next HMC scheduled on 18th January and we shall implement the changes made.”

 

To ensure that the charges are uniform, a committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Prof. V. Shivkumar, warden of Hall-7. The committee shall report the further discrepancies.

 

HAIF utilisation:

The additional sum of INR 2500 that was collected at the beginning of each semester as HAIF was aimed at boosting the infrastructural facilities in the hostels. From the HAIF money, door screens have been installed in each and every room. But regarding the Central water heating system, there are a few Technical issues and the final call will be taken by the Chief Warden.

 

Miscellaneous:

  •   Drinking water is available through the various water coolers. Each floor has 2 water coolers and all of them are thoroughly maintained and made functional for the boarders.
  •  LAN ports have been installed in each and every room of A and B block but the ports are yet to be installed in C block. After installation of LAN ports, Wi-Fi hotspots have been removed from A and B block whereas the ones in C block will be removed only after the installation of LAN ports.
  • The cycle stand which is common to both GDB and MV is in good shape, with old and abandoned cycles pushed to either side, it is spacious enough to accommodate all the cycles. There is also one air compressor available there.
  • Though frequent power outages are common in this hall, this cannot be characterised to this hall alone. This becomes very cumbersome during summer days and especially during exams. So far, there are no provisions to install power backup.
  •  There are three fire extinguishers, one in each floor, to ensure the boarders don’t have to face the calamities of fire.
  • GDB maintains a first aid box with the security guard desk. The first aid box has basic amenities like plasters, bandage, band-aid, cotton, dettol, antiseptic cream and pain relieving cream. Team MM suggests the Hall council to add a few more of such amenities – tweezers, hand gloves, thermometer, paracetamol/aspirin, eye wash, distilled water for cleaning wounds and a first aid instruction booklet.
  • There are plans to build a pathway outside the hall which shall connect it with MV which will help the boarders a lot.
  • The hall has a prefect system in which a boarder is nominated to be the prefect of a certain block. The nomination was done in the beginning of the academic year and the list of students was submitted to Chief Warden for approval.

 

The Final Word

Apart from a few hiccups that don’t withstand in a larger picture, Ghyansham Das Birla Hall of Residence undoubtedly offers the most savoury conditions which are a testament to the fact that it stands out from all the other halls. And given that most of its past boarders have spent their most immature year in NIT-R, GDB gets an even shinier place in their hearts by hitting that sweet spot of nostalgia.

Gallantly thrusted a quotation plate just outside the hall which quotes Nelson Mandela saying, “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb”. It comes as no disbelief that the co-incidentally shoved quotation, whose words may deliver a hackneyed perception to many, has been actually a testament for this hall and its workers over the years. Team MM hopes GDB continues its stature and works even harder towards the welfare of the boarders.

 

Halls

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