Retrospection of the Unparalleled: S.S Bhatnagar Hall of Residence
The only hostel to house married couples in NIT-Rourkela, Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar (SSB) Hall of Residence is currently portraying a very peaceful atmosphere for the inmates. While a vast majority of the populace is satisfied with the amenities available, few others feel that there is a dire need to resolve some pertinent issues. After conversing with the occupants and authorities, Team MM brought into picture the undertakings as well as the shortcomings of SSB hall of residence.
Call of Duty
Since July 1, 2017, Prof. Swapan Kumar Karak has been appointed as the Warden for SSB Hall of Residence. Since taking charge he has conducted regular visits to the hostel and has been instrumental in stabilizing many issues. Apart from the warden, five other vital posts of the hall are as follows:
- General Secretary: Ashish Ranjan Dash
- Maintenance Secretary: Biranchi N. Rath
- Cultural Secretary: Brahmadev Panda
- Sports and Games Secretary: Ranjan Kumar Behera
- Environment Secretary: Kshirasagar Sahoo
A Brief Outlook
S.S Bhatnagar hall consists of four blocks: A, B, C, and D, with D block being the recent addition. The hall boasts of about 130 rooms, about 20 rooms of which have been reserved for faculty members. However, with the completion of the ongoing construction of the faculty quarters, the faculty population is expected to shift to the new residences. The rooms of D block provide the luxury of a balcony and the rooms of C block are equipped with two bedrooms. The rooms, as well as the corridors, are spacious enough.
State of Affairs: Health and Hygiene
The hostel has three cleaning staff (2 female and 1 male) on the roll. However, their attendance is a matter of concern owing to frequent complaints of substance abuse against the janitor. Considering the standards of cleanliness of the hostel, the corridors are neat and have been equipped with two separate dustbins for dry and wet waste.
Water quality remains good, barring some rare instances when its quality becomes objectionable owing to its pale appearance. In the case of drinking water, each floor of a block has one aqua-guard which remains functional making it a total of 9 aqua guards. The hall has 4 water coolers, however, their functionality is a matter of concern.
The hostel shares the same power resources as that of the other hall of residences. However, the absence of a backup generator has been a major cause of concern for the borders. There have been many an instance of sighting of snakes on the ground floor and the lack of a power backup further aggravates the situation. Considering the fact that the hostel is the abode to many infants as well, the establishment of a generator gathers paramount importance.
The Games Corner
SSB hall consists of a good outdoor synthetic badminton court where the inmates shed some energy with racquets and shuttlecocks. Encompassing the enthusiasm of the boarders and children the hall is planning to construct an indoor badminton court. Recently the hostel purchased a table tennis set to cater the needs of the ping-pong enthusiast. The recreational facilities in the lawn for the kids are well-maintained to cater to the needs of the residents especially children.
Safety and Security
The entry into the hall from the rear end has been strictly prohibited and guests coming from the front gate are required to enter their details in a register available with the security personnel at the main gate. According to the rules, the visitors (especially from inside the campus) are required to leave the hall after 10:00 p.m. The warden of the hall has also suggested maintaining a digital database incorporating the details of the inmates for the reference of the visitors and authorities.
Enhancing the Parking Provisions
The hostel provides a parking space for about 100 motorbikes and about 30 slots for four wheelers. However, the provision for cars seems congested. Slots are allotted after proper scrutinization of the related legal documents. Another problem is the absence of a separate parking space for bicycles as many PhD scholars use bicycles as a means of transport. So, along with an extended car parking lot, the hall is also planning to introduce a new parking space for bicycles.
Major Issues and Initiatives
Catering to some other concerns, the rear end of the hostel lacks proper lighting. Despite having raised this issue multiple times in the HMC meetings, any visible form of action is yet to be initiated. Another woe is the absence of water supply facilities in the reception hall in the new block of the hostel. Any function or festivity of the hostel is celebrated in the hall, however, the festivity is marred owing to the absence of water facilities. Despite repeated complaints to the hostel authorities, any noticeable step is yet to be initiated. From the perspective of the finances, the budget allocated to the hostel every year is never enough and thus the representatives have demanded the HMC to take this matter into consideration.
The backyard of the hostel is unkempt with only the front lawn being properly maintained. Mokshaa restaurant dumps its wastes at the rear end of the hostel causing inconvenience to the boarders. Speaking about the same with the general secretary Ashish Ranjan Dash, he was quoted saying:
So, owing to this situation, we have come up with an idea of SWACHHA HALL ABHIJAAN so that we can clean the entire hostel first by ourselves and later can rightfully ask the authorities to clean it. We are planning to do this within a week.
This novel concept has been approved by the warden of the hall and all the inmates have agreed for their active participation in this initiative. Quoting the Warden, Prof. Swapan Kumar Karak
It is a prior responsibility of ours to keep our surroundings clean. Ensuring this fact, the SSB Hall has decided to start working from the ground level by undertaking the Swachha Hall Abhijaan. In my view, once we begin it in our hall, this concept can subsequently be implemented in other halls and then in the entire campus with the active involvement of the student community.
Summarizing the hall review, the S.S. Bhatnagar hall of residence has left no stone unturned to ensure a good and hospitable environment for the boarders. With the resolution of existing problems, the hall can keep its peaceful atmosphere intact.