From Atypical Aspects
The Chief Warden constitutes an integral part of the system comprising of all the Halls. Team MM brings to you a draft of the questions and the answers that followed in the first Chief Warden's Column after the substitution of the persons of responsibility from Professor S. K. Patel to Professor Manoranjan Barik.
MM: We have brought up the issue of dog menace several times in front of the Chief Wardens. The last time we asked about it, Prof. S. K. Patel said that we handled the issue to an extent by installing automatic door closers. He also said that the Director had sent a letter to the municipality. First, the hydraulic system in the MSS cycle stand is out of order and second, we received a photo, which shows a very derelict scenario. What do you have to say about it?
MRB: There are many dogs in the campus. But there is no dog in my house because I do not feed them. Once you entertain them, they will increase in concentration. Nowadays there are many dog lovers; you cannot kill a dog, or punish it. There is also a forum for that. If door shutters are not working, we might look into it. However, the other side is that one should not encourage feeding them. There are also notices here and there asking not to feed them. You should be responsible; the inmates should be responsible. About the letter, I don’t really know what the Director sent to the municipality.
MM: A very common query among the students is, now that the scare of bird flu has passed, when can we expect the availability of chicken in our hostel messes?
MRB: You give me the guarantee that there is no bird flu anymore and nothing will happen to the children, and then I will bring chicken back. Also, it has to be decided by the HMC. I cannot decide it single-handedly because there too much risk involved. Because then, if something happens, not necessarily due to bird flu, people will say it is because of bird flu and the chief warden allowed it. I cannot take such a huge risk.
MM: Also in the recent HMC, was the topic raised as the talk remains that the bird flu is gone?
MRB: I have not stopped chicken, you see. The previous chief warden issued the notice. I don’t know who the competent authority is. It has to be raised in the HMC. HMC is the only body that can decide. I cannot risk thousands of children. Nobody raised it in the HMC that happened last week.
MM: We have received a complaint from the residents of the VS Hall of Residence, about the geysers not functioning there. Even after complaining to the General Secretary three times and writing in the register outside the Chief Warden's office on two occasions, no specific steps have been taken. What is your take on this?
MRB: These are merely generic statements. It is my desire that all problems be given to me in a written manner, following a proper set of protocol. Action will be taken then.
MM: There were talks about installing two LAN ports in the double-seater rooms, where currently the students have to make do with a single one. What is its status?
MRB: I don’t have any idea in that regard.
MM: Now that all of the construction work has been completed in the SD Hall of Residence, can we expect either MV or VS Halls of Residence to be single-seaters from next year? The rooms are apparently too small to accommodate two students.
MRB: It has to be decided in the HMC and will be taken up in the consecutive ones.
MM: In his interview, the former Chief Warden and the present advisor to the HMC, Prof. R.K. Patel had said that the Central Laundry System was a temporary system and that it would soon be replaced with the earlier system of one washing machine per hall. Has anything been done about it?
MRB: I think the central one is better. However, if you have any demands as such, do write to me. Unless proper procedure is followed and verbal demands are made, there are chances that I may forget certain points.
MM: A large amount of funds was spent in installing wall dustbins but the system has not exactly been a complete success. Not only are some of them missing in the halls, the previous arrangement is also completely absent. What do you have to say about it?
MRB: How is it missing? Did it vanish? If yes, how did it vanish? You are the people who live in the hall and you are not aware of it. You should never put the complete burden on the Chief Warden. If something has been given to you, you should have the responsibility and must see that it is not stolen or broken.
MM: The CVR Hall of Residence has western toilets that are dysfunctional and rarely used. Is it possible to convert them into Indian toilets or bathroom stalls?
MRB: There are proper channels to ensure the streamlining of work. Once again, I urge the boarders to submit a written application of their grievances to me and it will be looked after. It is surprising that they’ d contact you (MM) and not me directly.
MM: Could you enlighten us about the exact procedure of Mess Rebate?
MRB: You should approach the concerned authority, which is the Chief Warden’s Office, not the person himself.
MM: The bathrooms at the SD Hall of Residence are not being cleaned properly. Also, the mess menu and food quality is quite unsatisfactory right now. There also have been sightings of rat menace in SD lately. How do you think we should solve these issues?
MRB: I hope you got your answer by now. And, about rats being a menace in the areas where the room is not cleaned, I think rat mats have been supplied.
MM: It has been observed that the night canteens in several halls still don't have menu charts. (VS and SD.) Could it be fixed?
Write it in the form of an application and submit it to me.
MM: There is very poor maintenance of water coolers in most of the halls. What do you think should be done?
MRB: Let me know what the exact nature of the problem along with concrete evidence. Only then, I will think of taking possible actions.
MM: Is it possible to have extended mess timings during fests? Because most of the pro-shows get over by 9:30 or 10:00 pm, after which it becomes difficult to arrange for proper dinner.
MRB: No. Not at all. I think you should rather stop all the programs beforehand. You are thinking only from your perspective. Think about the mess ladies. They have to leave by 10 pm, before which they need to wash them and complete all the chores.
MM: It has been noticed of late that the Scholars' Avenue is not being lit after dark hours. Why is it so?
MRB: There are some mobile numbers mentioned on a board in each Hall in order for you to complain regarding electrical and lighting failures. You can directly contact them.
P.S. The Chief Warden has hereby urged the student community to inform him of their issues and grievances, by submitting a written piece of notice, to serve as the medium of conversation.
Disclaimer: Team MM had claimed that a mail was sent recently by the warden of MV Hall stating that, with bird flu non-prevalent now, we can expect changes in the mess soon. However, the same was found to be untrue and hence has been removed.