Addressing Winter Woes

With the onset of a chilling even semester, there have been issues added to the stack of existing ones. To inquire on the development for the betterment of hostel life of students, Team MM caught up with the Chief Warden, Prof. R K Patel to look out for some concrete solutions.

Ladies Hostel Issues

MM: Are the circulars coming from the office of the warden of KMS Hall of Residence, applicable for the boarders of CVR Hall of Residence as well?

CW: Yes, it is supposed to be. Both the hostels are in the same building complex. Now, if there is no coordination between the hostels, then it will create problems. There should be coordination meeting between the wardens and the elected representatives. I request both the wardens to take decision collectively.

MM: A conflict regarding hostel entry timing erupted in the CV Raman Hall of Residence recently. A hand-written message has been pasted near the security desk asking the boarders to submit their ID cards. Please comment on this issue.

CW: Regarding the issue, the security must verify the ID card and return it to the boarders. They are not supposed to keep it with them. They just have to verify the student and allow them into the hostel. When any such notice comes up in the future, please discuss it with the warden and inform us as soon as possible. I am repeatedly saying that the rules are not made to harass the boarders. The parents do not appreciate their wards staying out late at night. I will give the notice to remove the notice as soon as possible.

MM: With a decent chunk of students in the Ladies Hostel staying in dormitories, the shifting to KMS has become a necessity. The situation is being worsened by the biting winters. When can we expect the shifting to occur?

CW: I am extremely regretful about the situation. We do not want the students to face such problems. But, as you might have got the circular, the work in the SD hall is not yet complete. The kitchens and dining halls are yet to be completed. We have to wait till April. We will also make sure that the students will know which hall has been allotted to them. This way, they can solve any problem before going for the vacations. Also, this will prevent any kind of debacle about the room allotments; the rooms will be given on first come first serve basis. 

Immediate Issues

MM: Please brief us on the situation of mess food in the halls after the incident when insects were found in food of VS Hall.

CW: It is a very unfortunate incident & immediate action was taken. All the affected food was destroyed on the same day & except some boarders most had not taken their meal. It happened because of lapses in mess people. The inventory in which the dry items were kept, rats & insects were present due to leakage of water. A committee was formed with students being the members on whose recommendation some points have been implemented. We will try & not repeat such mistakes. 

To avoid such problems in future, the checking of mess by wardens & assistant wardens has increased manifold. They are frequently releasing checklists which are strictly followed.

The role of catering technologist is very clear & he is very much into maintaining the quality of food served to boarders. The dry food quality is very high since a list has been supplied from CWO which is strictly followed. The conversion to eatable is sometimes faulty due to uneducated workers, but they are experienced.

The quality of food will be very high once the kitchen is modernised with 4 different components. We have already passed the tender of mechanised systems, & it will be completely done before the beginning of the next semester. The quality of food will be definitely good & the catering technologist is also looking after this very seriously.

MM: There is some acute shortage of utensils in halls, so the boarders are suffering during rush times.

CW: Now you have conveyed this problem to me, so within 2 days the utensils will be ordered looking after the requirement in all the halls, especially the spoons & the cups. For the irregularity in the food serving during the time of mess closing, I will ensure that the students receive the complete food & the workers do not take away the food till the time boarders have not taken their food. This problem will be resolved & I would like to request the boarders that if any such problem arises, it should be brought to my notice immediately.

MM: Geysers malfunctioning in Homi Bhaba Hall of Residence, & non-working geysers in Dhirubhai Ambani Hall (A & B block) and VS Hall, during peak winter, is a matter of concern. What is your stand on this?

CW: It is being discussed all the time. If there is a persistent problem in any component, please write it in the copy inside the CWO & Dillip is always ready to give you the copy. The geyser problem is basically due to resetting a switch. If there is no water in the geyser, then there is a cut-off which again needs the resetting a switch. From today, due to the peak season, I will engage one person exclusively for maintaining geysers which will be circulated among the boarders.

The new system of geysers has been installed in Hall-7, which if proven good will be applied to all the hostels. Since it has come to my notice that it is malfunctioning it will be taken care of by the person allotted as soon as possible. If it does not happen, the students or elected representatives should give a complaint in the copy present inside the CWO.

General Issues

MM: Please clarify the procedure of mess rebate since the boarders are not clear on how to apply for mess rebate?

CW: On this regard, a circular was sent to all the boarders in the autumn semester since the procedure for mess rebate turned online. I will release the circular once again. Before that, it is very clear that the students should apply online before proceeding for leave. The documents supporting the leave must be submitted within two weeks of returning from the leave. This is done through the warden of the respective halls & this process is completely independent of SAC i.e. we do not check SAC records for leave, if the proof satisfies that the student was on leave for a particular point of time , then he is awarded with a mess rebate in the form of reduction in the mess fees. I request the boarders to go through the rules which are clearly mentioned in the site. Only some of the exceptional cases of absence like changing to a day-scholar in middle of semester or other cases will be dealt by me directly on case-to-case basis.

MM: There is No LAN connection in DBA Hall A-Block and the Computer Centre has denied its responsibility. So now what does the CWO plan to do in this regard?

CW: Prof. Turuk, HOD, Computer Centre has completely fulfilled his responsibilities of making LAN available in Hall-4 excepting the A Block. This is the actual fact. Earlier the tendering process was done by the Computer Centre which has now been withdrawn from them. Now the estate is given this responsibility. For this 2 or 3 months, estate is not carrying out this work since it believes that LAN is not the responsibility of the estate. In this regard I have contacted the HOD, Estate & the status is such that I will go there & explain the work to him & he has promised to carry out this work. The stipulated time for this work would be February end & the DBA people will get the facilities of LAN very soon. I have asked them to complete the work & certify that the work has been done & the bill will be paid by CWO, though it is not supposed to be paid. As soon as the tender is bought by the Estate the work will be completed.  

MM: With high usage of water purifiers, how is the regular maintenance ensured? And what is the use of maintenance record notes pasted in the purifiers if they aren’t being updated?

CW: Since the aqua guards are used continuously there is a severe requirement of maintenance .Only one person was engaged in this work till date. Now to speed up the process of maintenance one more expert has been engaged from 3rd January 2015 on payment basis. They have been told to check the aqua guards even if they are working & change the candles in stipulated time & I hope that the condition will improve in the next 15 or 20 days.

MM: Insect nets are yet to come up in HB and MSS Halls of Residence. Kindly throw some light on their status.

CW: The status is very good in terms of tender & quotation. The person who had quoted the least price has been assigned the work. He had shown the sample net which he is going to make in HB Hall. It was approved by the Chief Warden, Warden & even the Maintenance Secretary of HB Hall. It is a very costly affair since there are around 164 windows, so the director has personally looked into this matter & formed a committee of experts who are responsible for making this insect repellents. The committee will be submitting its report on Monday & if approved by our Director, the work will be finished within 4 to 5 days since every component is ready. So, the stipulated time would be the next week on the condition if approved by the director.

In each & every HMC, the basic agenda is the monitoring of the assets i.e. the state of the assets & what is its condition. It is a pity that it is not being done at all. Everyone is responsible for this lack of monitoring. I would like to request the NITR Junta to be more responsible & discuss their discomforts with the Warden & if not resolved then the Chief Warden is always there for every NITR student. I am very sure that overall development has been a part of this NITR system of late.