Chasing Answers

With the hopes of bringing light to the ensuing darkness (read power cuts) Team MM caught up with the Chief Warden for this week’s CWC, seeking answers on myriad issues and developments in the residential areas of NITR.

MM: The frequency of the power cuts has increased over the last few days. There is a regular power cut in the morning from 11 am to 2 pm and then again in the evening at 7 pm. What is the reason for this?
CW:  With all the halls having been connected to the 33kv line, whenever there is a problem in the grid, there is a blackout in NIT. It is expected that within the next 15 to 20 days the 33kv line will get connected to the hotline. It means that instead of being connected through WESCO, the 33kv line will be directly connected to the grid and after that, the power situation in the institute will definitely improve. There are additional complications which arise due to the 33kv line, for example, in the Mechanical department one of the machines got damaged. Transferring the connection from 11kv to 33kv is not an easy task and some problems will definitely arise. Similarly, for the last two days there were no street lights anywhere, which also because of the work done in connecting the 33kv line.

MM: A few days back there was no current in both the girls’ as well as the boys’ hostel and yet the generator did not give any backup. Please shed some light on the incident.
CW: The generator works only when there is no power anywhere, but if there is power in even one phase than it won’t give back up. What happened was that although there was no power in the 33kv line; a portion which was connected to 11kv had power in one of the phase, which is why the generator didn’t give back up. The work to transfer the connection from the 11kv line to the 33kv line is still ongoing which is why these problems are being caused.

MM: The winter season is fast approaching and many of the boarders in the girls’ as well as the boys’ hostel are apprehensive about the non- functional geysers. What has been done to get the repairs done on time?
CW: According to the reports I received a few days ago all the geysers in the halls have been repaired and are functional. I had asked the team of electricians to visit every hall and inspect the geysers, and according to them the malfunctioning geysers were repaired. But even then if there are any complaints regarding the geysers I would want the maintenance secretaries or the boarders who are facing the problem to come and get their complaints entered in the register and I guarantee you that the problems will be solved within a day or two.

MM: In the girls’ hostel one of the geysers malfunctioned when it was switched on, and due to that there was no current for half a day in that wing. Afterwards the electrician just disconnected the geyser and did not repair it. What can be done about it?
CW: The problem was not known to me and I will look into the matter right away. The problem will be solved in the next few days.

MM: The water problem in the boys’ hostels especially in the extension block of MSS hall shows no sign of abating. What is the cause of this continual dilemma and what is to be done to remedy the situation?
CW: The truth is that the Rourkela Municipality provides us with much less than the amount of water that we require daily. We are being provided with 0.5 MGD whereas our consumption is 3 MGD. We fulfil our daily requirement by the means of 4 bore wells, one is a major one while three are minor. From these three bore wells, water is brought to the water supply tank. There are two tanks, in the first one the water is filled up after filtering and then it is pumped to the second tank and thereafter supplied to the hostel area. A new bore well has been dug for the ladies hostel, and all the main work of laying the pipes and wires and the like has been completed and only the connection is to be given. Students can expect the bore well to start functioning in the next couple of days and after that there will be no problems in the ladies hostel.
As the municipality is delaying the connection for our water treatment plant we want to solve the problem ourselves for now. For this purpose, SD hall which has its own water supply, the ladies’ halls and the VS hall which also requires very less water from the 4 bore wells will be made independent and the other halls will make use of the bore wells. The problem with the extension block of MSS hall is very simple. It has four floors so the number of students is more and the tanks are also situated at a greater height. Due to this reason, the tanks of D-block get filled up the last and are not filled up completely, moreover because of the larger number of students the water gets depleted quicker. The solution to the general water problem will also solve this problem by increasing the supply time of water. By the next semester be sure that all the water problems will be sorted out.

MM: Mosquito nets were promised in HB hall. What is the progress on this count?
CW: Earlier in HB hall all the windows were provided with plastic nets, but most of them have been torn down by the students. That is why there is a delay in acquiring the nets. We have to decide whether to procure MS or SS nets. While MS nets are easier to clean, SS nets are more durable. Once the decision is made it will hardly take 4-5 days to have the nets fitted.

MM: There is a huge undergrowth of weeds and grass in between the free spaces between the blocks in MSS, HB and VS hall. It is the same problem in front of CVR. Removing the weeds will help reduce the mosquito and bug problem. What can be done to accomplish this?
CW: Currently there is no garden in the ladies’ hall but a contractor has already been given the contract for the new garden. About the removal of the weeds, a plan has already been formulated. We plan to use a weedicide called ALLOUT to remove the weeds. But before applying it to the hall area, we were asked by the Director to have the weedicide tested in a small area for its effectiveness. Tomorrow we are going to test it on a small patch towards the corner area in the DTS. After that we will apply it to the halls.

MM: There is a cleaning problem in the toilets of HB hall. Also in the last CWC we were told that cleaning of the rooms on a regular basis will begin. What is the status of this arrangement?
CW: In each hall there is a separate team of cleaning personnel to keep the hall premises clean. The number of people in each hall meant for this purpose is dependent on the number of boarders. So the cleaning personnel should be doing their work. Anyone at any time can go and call the personnel to have the toilets or their rooms cleaned, and they are bound to come. But the students have to be aware and responsible for this purpose. Without repeatedly reminding these people of the work, the proper cleaning of the hall cannot be achieved.
The work order for the weekly cleaning of the rooms was unfortunately delayed, it was done this Friday and the room cleaning is supposed to begin by Monday. The cleaning personnel have been asked to this job from 5 in the evening till 8 during the week days, while it should be done throughout the day on the weekends. A room wise plan will be given to them and every day they have to get a certain number of rooms cleaned and get the signature from the respective boarder. Only then will I pass their salaries. Also, the biometric attendance will begin from 1st November, where they will have to give attendance 4 times a day so that they don’t go away in the middle of the day.
MM suggestion: A timetable of which rooms are supposed to be cleaned on which day should be put up on the notice boards so that the boarders have an idea of when they are supposed to have their rooms cleaned and if it is not done, they can follow it up with the warden or the care taker.
CW: It is a good idea and I will act on it. I will circulate the notice through the webmail to all the boarders as well as send a circular to all the halls regarding the timetable of the cleaning of the rooms. Also I will give to Monday Morning a list of the names and phone numbers of the contractors responsible for the cleaning of the halls. If they find any discrepancy the boarders can contact the contractors and have their problems addressed.

MM: What is the progress of the construction of the new Satish Dhawan Hall? When can the boarders of the dormitories in the Ladies’ hostel expect to be shifted to their own rooms?
CW: The plight of the boarders living in the dormitories is very much apparent to me. I take reports about the progress in construction from the site-in-charge every alternate day. According to them the girls along with some more female students can be shifted at the beginning of the next semester. The capacity of the old SD hall is about 350 but we plan to shift around 250-300 students while keeping in mind that the current final year students do not need to shift as they have only 4 more months left in the next semester. A fair balance of students from all over the country are supposed to be shifted there, as we always aim at maintaining a national character in our halls of residences. Students less than the capacity will be shifted so that in the next session, the current pre-final year students get their own single rooms in their final year. I understand the problems faced by the students and there is a huge pressure on me to have the shifting done at the earliest possible. All the formalities, related to who will be shifted, any problems or queries, everything will be done before the end of this semester.

MM: The cell phone connectivity in the hall areas is very poor. Is there anything that can be done to improve connectivity?
CW: While there is not much that can be done regarding the network of different service providers, it might have been observed that cables are being laid down in various places in the campus. Reliance is setting up 3 telephone towers inside the campus, on near the basketball courts, and the other two near the MV hall and the VS hall respectively. These telephone towers will be lent to other service providers also and we can expect an improvement in cell connectivity in the coming days.

MM: During the Multi-Ethnic Fest, late entry for the female students was not lifted and the late entries were booked. Why can’t there be a suspension of the rule during the fests as the students have to stay out for practice till very late at night and even at times till the early hours of morning?
CW: I absolutely agree with the fact that entry time should be extended for the students during the fests. It is necessary that participation in these fests be encouraged. The mess timings cannot be extended beyond a certain limit as the mess people have to return home. But the late entry time can be definitely extended. The thing is that, the organizing team should forward to me, a written application on the subject of increasing the entry timings and they should mention a certain maximum time. The issue is that, this time, the organizers said that the certain events will go on for the whole night. But the whole night doesn’t mean that the students stay out for the whole night. While I understand that they have to practice and prepare but the organizers should give me a certain time limit and without any changes I will accept the timing.

MM: The students want that the bus frequency should be increased so as to facilitate easy transport of the students, as many things can’t be bought in the sector 2 market and also during the last few days before holidays. What can be done about it?
CW: The students want the bus to ply four times in a week to help them travel easily to the Rourkela main market and Aam Bagan. The demand is understandable, as the Sector 2 market is not enough for all the things the students need. Also during the holiday rush they want the bus to run twice a day at least. A written application in this regard can be given to my office and then some course of action will be taken to accommodate the students’ demands.

MM: The food in the mess in both the girls’ and boys’ hostel is oily and not a balanced diet, with an overload of potato in all the dishes. Is there a system in place to inspect the quality of food in the mess and analyse the nutritional balance?
CW: There is a system in place, but the inspection of the mess has become irregular. Students living in the hostels need a proper menu to get all the nutrition for their physical and mental nourishment. The problem is a major one and I will definitely look into the matter and we can have a discussion about it during the next HMC.
CW: You will be pleased to know that according to the Prime Minister’s Swach Bharat Abhiyan, our Director has decided to visit each hall on the last Saturday of each month to assess the cleanliness and maintenance of the halls. Also we have decided to build a biogas plant in the institute to harness the energy which is thrown away as waste in the form of the waste and leftover food from all the halls. We have already held talks with BARC and have received a proposal from them. The biogas plat will have a capacity of 1.5 to 2 tonnes, as that is the approximate amount of waste generated in the halls. By using this biogas it has been estimated that it can sustain the requirements of atleast one hostel.

MM: It will be a great step towards making the campus a green one while also solving a great problem of wet waste treatment. It is a commendable step taken by the institute and Team MM wishes them all the best in this regards.

Contact Details of Cleaning Personnel