A Satisfactory Conclusion?

As the academic year comes to a close, the boarders of the Halls of the Residence face problems, big and small. The Chief Warden, Prof R K Patel, is all ears to the problems to find a feasible solution. The work of the Hall Management Committee has improved in certain aspects, yet much remains to be done.

In the final issue of the Chief Warden’s Column, Team MM brings you the last residual problems of the halls, their solutions and finally what to look forward to in the next semester.

MM: The hostels faced severe power outage recently. The C V R and the K M S Halls of Residence were particularly affected, with no water supply for almost a day. Can you please shed light on the matter?

CW: The power supply to the C V R and K M S Halls of Residences is done from the academic area power supply, from the TIIR building. Some construction work is going on near the building owing to the expected visit of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi on April 1st, 2015. The workers were digging a portion, and by chance, the wire got dislocated. Because of that, the hostel was deprived of water and power. They connected it and finally the power was restored. We decided to make it permanent and used a new cable within a PVC pipe. The whole portion was cemented. Now, I think it is a permanent solution related to electricity. The power supply to the pump is given from the stadium. We are trying to give another power supply from the hostel, so that in case of failure of one source, the other can take over. I hope, there will be no water problem for the summer.  

There was a 3000 litres tank, which was leaking. We fixed that to avoid wastage.

The ladies’ hostel has been connected to the institute power backup facility. The other halls of residences are connected to the one near the Chief Warden’s office. However, there are some problems related to switching over, which we will fix shortly.

The blackout on Friday was due to the thunderstorm and the GRIDCO had cut off the power. Or it was done from the Estate Department. There was some kind of short circuiting. It was being sorted out.

MM: The area between D B A and M S S Halls have been very dirty and are stinking from some time. The boarders have complained about it being very filthy. What can be done regarding this issue?

CW: I will look into this matter immediately.

The boarders are requested to give information on such matters immediately. You can always call me or the Wardens. We will take immediate action on it. The phone numbers have been displayed in all the halls. Otherwise, you can always drop an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Any boarder can call up and inform us about it.

MM: The gate near the Chief Warden’s office near D B A Hall is locked and manned by security guard. What is the purpose of guarding a locked gate?

CW: Two months ago, 2 laptops were stolen from 2nd and 3rd floor of the hostel, near that gate. From that day onwards it has been locked as a safety precaution. But, we will look into it and make sure the gates are open.

We have not received any complaints lately. And it is supposed to be a temporary measure. The perpetrators of the previous theft cases have been taken up by the ISDC. Even the student members of ISDC have done a commendable job. The students are requested to remain a bit cautious about their belongings. If your lock has three keys, and you have lost one of them, you are advisable to change the lock.

I would advise all the boarders to take care of their personal belongings and lock the room before going somewhere. Even clothes are also being stolen, so they must be taken care of properly.

MM: Written applications for the installation of washing machines were given by the boarders. We would like to know about the status of the request.

CW: At least two washing machines will be required for each hall. A huge amount of clothes will be there and the machines will become overworked. The charge for usage of washing machines is not borne by the boarders. We only charge for the detergent used. We intend to procure two commercial ones and have already asked for quotations. We also intend to give contracts to commercial laundry owners to coma and collect the clothes from the boarders and return after washing and ironing. This will eliminate the need of the boarders to wash and dry their clothes in the hostels. The Director has given me directive to explore other possibilities at a lower cost.

MM Suggestion: Washing machines can be included in each floor (if possible) and students will be allowed to operate them and use their own detergent.

I will table both the proposals and will definitely make sure the issue is tackled at the earliest.

MM: How satisfied are you with the working of the Hall Management Committee? How would you rate the work in a scale of 10?

CW: I am satisfied but not complacent. There is much more remaining to be done.

There have been problems related to electricity and water, hygiene and cleaning of the rooms. We have overcome them to a certain extent. But we strive to reduce them to bare minimum levels. We expect to improve further next year.

I might not be able to give the work of HMC above 9 out of 10, but I think our work certainly deserves more than 7.5. Today, I assure you that, any problem faced by the boarders, if brought to our notice, will be taken care of at the earliest.   

MM: What are some of the steps that are expected to be implemented next academic year, when the students arrive from the summer break?

CW: The first priority is to upload the mess dues in the HMC website. The boarders can access their mess dues and apply for rebate when they go out for academic purposes. I am confident that before the semester ends, you will be able to access the dues of the present semester. We plan to upload the data every month, so that there is transparency in the transaction.

The second priority is to strengthen the Prefect system, in order to lessen the burden on the members of HEC. Sometimes, the studentship of some boarders is terminated, yet they occupy the rooms and this creates a problem.

The problem of the mess food will be taken care of. Some boarders say that the food of a certain hall is better. We plan to allow all the boarders to take the meals in any hall, with prior information.

Also, there are many talented boarders in our Halls, in diverse fields: music, painting, dance etc. We plan to showcase the talent during the Hall days. Also student projects will be displayed and boarders encouraged to take up productive activities. 

The modernization of the kitchen is also a priority. The tender has been floated and work is underway. Hopefully, by the next semester the kitchens will have been modernized. There will be gas banks and proper equipment to handle the cooking and serving of food. I have taken approval from the Director to appoint two trainees from a reputed Central government institute: Institute of Hotel Management, who will be imparting the expert knowledge to the mess workers. A senior faculty from the institute has met with us and has promised to help, from July or August for four months.

We are planning to extend the Group mail service to the Wardens for the boarders in their respective halls. Sometimes, they have to convey a message to the boarders and the mail has to be sent to all by the Chief Warden.

MM: Many issues have come up and most of them were tackled. What is your opinion on the handling of the issues? Do you think they have been taken care of properly?

CW: We have tried to address almost all of the issues. Barring a few, most of them were resolved. Some took time, but yes, they were done. Like for example, the issue of dog menace in the ladies’ hall. It took some time, however the plague has been reduced. We have tried to address all of the issues. But the success rate has varied. In some, we got hundred percent success, while in others we got fifty percent or so.

MM: Some issues, like the mess food in the boys’ hostel, have been in a permanent deadlock. What are your comments regarding this?

CW: There are many aspects of that. We tried to change the caterers. But that moved failed. Now, we will work with the existing caterers and try to improve. There were several problems last year: there would be shortage of food, unhealthy and tasteless food. We wish to reduce these problems to the minimum.

You will be surprised to know that a proper menu has not yet been prepared in some of the boys’ hostels. So, the caterers keep cooking the same menu semester after semester. There is a lot of heterogeneity in the halls. The Mess Secretaries must take proactive action regarding the preparation of menu. Every palate must be satisfied.

MM: What message would you like to give to the boarders regarding their safety and wellbeing?

CW: I would like to wish all the best to all the boards for their end semester examinations and training and internships for the summer. I would like to request all the boarders to come up with proactive suggestions, implementable at our level. We want suggestions for improving the living standards. We would like to request the boarders to refrain from using unnecessary electrical appliances. It will just harm the interest of all the boarders. They are requested to refrain taking up plates and food into the room, unless absolutely required.

We are proud to inform you that we will be setting up a biogas plant near Homi Bhabha Hall of Residence. The proposal has been approved. The MoU with BARC will be finalized soon. We would like our students to come up with ideas that can help in the hostel management and also improve the resource management.

All the arrangements for the Grand Farewell have been made. We hope the event to go smoothly, without any glitch and it will be a memorable evening for the outgoing batch of students.