Disproving rumors and restoring worth: HB Hall
At the end of the Scholar’s Avenue, closest to the backpost lies the Homi Bhabha Hall of Residence, standing tall with some fascinating murals and a rainbow of colourful frescoes. The hall has recently been renovated and a lot of facilities have been installed. Team MM as usual presents you a rigorous report on the changes made, current issues and a cluster of opinions from different perspectives on this quaint abode for single seaters.
Infrastructure and Boarding:
The hall is constructed of two square loops named of different blocks (block A and B) connected by a narrow sector or block C, all spanning three floors. The single-seater rooms are not much spacious but apparently sufficient for a single person to live in, and facilitated by a table, cot, tube-light, fan, LAN-port, and other necessary stuff. The mess is located on the ground floor along with the warden’s office. The ground floor also houses a common room. The cycle stand is located in a shelter in front of the hall.
But the rooms are not tiled and this seemingly repels newbies applying for residence in this hall. Addressing this issue, Prof. H.N. Jena, the Hall Warden assured,
I had requested the Chief Warden regarding this issue about floor tiling and a sum of 37 lakhs has been sanctioned for the same. The work would be done soon.
The hostel has been recently renovated and a good amount of problems the boarders were facing have been eliminated. The renovation covers a broad spectrum of upgradation: whitewashing the rooms and corridors, putting central geyser into work, replacing washroom fittings as needed and a few others in the future list. Most of the renovation work has been carried out in the bathrooms whose tiles and fittings have been changed.
“While whitewashing the rooms, the boarders were asked whether they wanted it or not,” Abhishek clarified, “And a list was made accordingly.”
A few of the boarders complained that even after their room numbers were enlisted, no whitewashing has been done so far. But the general secretary was not informed about any such grievance from any of the boarders. The warden clarified that 262 rooms have been distempered and the distempering of the remaining rooms was stopped due to a shortage of funds with the institute maintenance authorities. The remaining work is expected to be done soon once the funds are available.
Regular cleaning of the hall is done and the rooms are cleaned once a week- as reported by the ground floor boarders. While only the workers in the second and third floor fail to perform proper cleaning as the witnesses sayt, the workers complain that the students make too much of a mess and are themselves responsible for the insanitation. The maintenance secretary has requested the warden for a change of staff and has been assured that steps would be taken soon.
The washrooms have an uninterrupted supply of water. All the bathrooms are connected to the central hot water system. The water purifiers have a seriously low count. Two on each floor have to deal with the demand of all three blocks often resulting in long queues of thirsts.
The maintenance secretary addressed this issue of water coolers as,
I have brought this issue up with warden and steps would be taken soon to install more filters and coolers.
The hall has a reading room in all of the floors but they remain mostly locked. The rooms can be opened during the morning and afternoon by taking permission from the caretaker or the security guard. Due to the long process, the boarders avoid using the rooms. The reason given for doing so is that the boarders cause harm to the sofas and other furniture placed in these rooms. The rooms are also not maintained regularly and cleaning work is not conducted by the workers.
The hall has beautiful architecture, a really well-maintained garden and probably the best one in the campus and is stuffed with colored flowers and petals of various species. In the last three months around fifteen thousand has been spent in acquiring plants and paying the gardener for the beautification process.
The hall already has a well-maintained badminton court and a new one is under construction just beside it which shows a positive inclination of the hall authority in indulging the students in sports and physical activities. Also very recently, a table tennis table was acquired worth twenty-four thousand. Some developmental work has also been carried out in the gym and its revival is in progress. The warden plans to install a new treadmill in the gym soon as the old ones are no more functional.
The food at HB is quite good in comparison to other hostels. The quality of the food is well maintained. Due to the small number of boarders, the mess does not see a huge line for food. Although there were a few instances of insects and metal objects in the food in the previous year some improvement has been seen in maintaining hygiene.
The Night Canteen at HB is probably the best on the campus which is located to the right of the hostel campus. The hall also hosts a day canteen on the first floor which serves snacks and other edibles to the boarders.
Being the hall with the least number of boarders, the funding for HB is quite small. The Warden, Prof. H.N. Jena has many developmental plans but some of them remain unfulfilled due to a lack of funds. The budget allocated for this year is eight lacks forty thousand, five lacks and fifty-eight thousands of which is spent as wages of the workers. Although the Chief Warden and other authorities have been quite supportive with some of the plans and sanctioned additional funds, some problems remain unsolved.
In defense, Prof. H.M. Jena very clearly clarified the hindrances in the path of progress-
A lot of steps have been taken for the development of the Hall but some problems were faced due to the lack of funds. Due to some constructional differences HB Hall of Residence demands a greater amount of maintenance in comparison to other halls. I have communicated to the boarders that the hall belongs to them and they too should assist in the developmental work by being more involved and by providing fruitful suggestions.
The Outsiders’ vs Dwellers’ Perspective:
As observed, the students after their freshermen year do not usually opt for this hall. Even if some do, it often costs a separation from their friend groups. As team MM talked with boarders, there were very different opinions that came compared to what was expected.
The hostel is very peaceful. Rumors of nuisance created by drunkards have really no base. I do not know how these rumors get spread. In my experience, the hall is even calmer than the other ones. The only problem that I counter here personally is the size of the room which is not very healthy and hygienic.
-as opined by a boarder.
However reviews of outsiders on this hostel are not satisfactorily good. Rumors on filthy ambience and a disturbing community have evidently infested the hall’s fame causing its inability to stand in a neck to neck demand with its sibling halls.
No doubt these rumors have come to their last days. The boarders are themselves in support of the level of hospitality offered in the hall. There are though some issues still in the pending list, but one can expect them to be sorted out within deadlines assured by the concerned authorities.