Moving Past the Maladies
Satish Dhawan Hall of Residence is the youngest hostel on campus and isn’t fully functional yet. In the recent days, many problems were brought in light of Monday Morning. We talked to the boarders and secretaries about them.
No Reading Room and Gym
Keeping in mind the issues raised by the boarders last semester, an amount of 1.5 lakhs had been granted by the Chief Warden’s office for the establishment of Recreation room. As of now, the procurement of necessary equipment has begun. However, the gym is not being opened, even though the equipment have been procured, due to unavailability of proper space. The location that has been picked for the gym is the space above the mess. A part of the same hall, owing to its huge area, shall also serve as the reading room with 2 TT tables, a study room equipped with chairs, tables and proper cupboards for storing books.
According to the General Secretary, the hall is big enough to house both the gym and reading room in two different corners, along with the TV room, and is confident that no person in the reading room would be disturbed by the commotion in the gymnasium or the TV room.
All Work and No Play?
Badminton court and basketball court are already present in the Hall, albeit not fully functional. The badminton court lacks proper lighting, and the General Secretary confirmed that once he has a word with the Warden in this regard, the installation of lights would be initiated soon. The basketball court, however, would not be started this semester. The work of installation of proper poles and other works are expected to be finished by the beginning of the next semester, post which the boarders will get to enjoy the facility of a fully-functional basketball court.
The General Secretary added:
Last time, we had HEM, which could have bought at least something for the gym or reading room, which they did not do. It’s a cumulative process. You buy stuff now, then go on to buy more stuff in the next session which the Hall lacks and the process continues.
While the General Secretary believes that the work has been slow, he is of the view that the facilities have improved to a certain extent. The reason behind the slow progress remains the speed of the tendering procedure, which happens to be the backbone of a number of other Hall-related problems too.
Regarding garden, the executive council of SD hall was informed by the Advisor to the Chief Warden that the process of maintaining the gardens of SD shall soon be initiated. The tendering has been done for the same. The gardens will come up on all sides of the Hall.
A problem that has been pestering the boarders for a long time, insect bites remain an issue that is yet to be solved after all this time. The rooms which face the Naga Pond are prone to insects and insect bites are a very persistent phenomenon which needs answers. According to the General secretary, it depends on the Warden how he wants to tackle this issue since no solution proposed in the HMC was approved of by the Chief Warden. If he wants to install nets on the windows, a part of the Hall budget could be used to facilitate the same. We talked to the Maintenance Secretary about this, to which he had to say:
The order for curtains and nets has to come from the Chief Warden’s Office. Once every block is habitable, they’ll all be set up with curtains altogether.
The quality of the food went down drastically in the recent times. Even though the mess menu was altered a few times to deal with the same, no tangible result came out of it, and the boarders continued to struggle with the food that was being served to them.
Owing to the degrading quality of food, with multiple issues popping up such as the sambhar being too watery, the curd smelling foul at times and the biriyani not being prepared using biriyani rice, a meeting was held by the Warden to reach a solution to put an end to the sufferings of the boarders. A new menu has been implemented, and the boarders are hoping for the quality to improve, even if the food served remains “bland”.
According to the Mess Secretary, no feedback has come from the boarders yet regarding the new menu. He assured that efforts are being made to enhance the quality and provide the boarders with food of better quality. He is also of the opinion that strict rules should be implemented against mess not serving readymade curd from brands such as Amul, Mother Dairy, and Omfed, as is instructed to them, in order to prevent them from serving watery curd that smells foul.
As for the cleanliness of utensils, the Mess Secretary is of the view that the boarders along with the Secretary should take the onus of looking into this at regular intervals to ensure that the hygiene of cleaning area is properly maintained. Also, the rat menace in the mess has been taken care of and the boarders can now expect the mess and the cleaning area to be rat-free. SD Hall’s mess was known to be the best one in the semester before this, but the standards have degraded is what the boarders feel right now. Although the Warden and the HEC have tried to answer them by bringing about a change in menu and asking students for suggestions etc. a few more problems persist and will be solved by the HEC, like other problems in the hall have been catered to.
The first problem the boarders of the hall faced is the absence of water coolers in every floor. The Maintenance Secretary, Sumavo Sikder said:
Yes, we do understand that it is a problem during summers for students to fill up cold water for drinking, considering there is only one cooler for every two floors in our hall. This is because this is a rule by the institute, and is followed in every hostel. Neither the secretaries nor the warden can do anything about this.
Cleanliness of Hostel rooms and Corridors
The cleaning staff would come on random times during the weekends to clean the rooms, to which the warden of SD Hall decided to allot fix hours for every block in SD for cleaning on Saturday and Sunday. Owing to this, SD now has a proper cleaning routine for rooms. The area near water coolers was observed to be unclean in many cases, to which the maintenance secretary said: ‘The corridors and the area around water coolers are cleaned on daily basis. The area near coolers is bleached. But due to excessive usage, it becomes dirty. If any boarder has any complain regarding any issue, they can contact the caretaker or the secretaries’.
Also, the roads inside SD aren’t fully constructed yet. When we talked to the Maintenance Secretary about this, he told us that it was the responsibility of Shapoorji Pallonji, who are the contractors for the construction of the road, and not of anyone on campus.
SD Hall has had issues, and the HEC has tried its best to tackle them, succeeding in ways. Team MM hopes that stay of boarders in SD Hall is as comfortable as it can be.