SD Hall 2019 : A Tale of Constant Fixes and Failures
Here is the long-awaited annual hall review of SD Hall of residence!
Long awaited, because of the constantly increasing issues and dissatisfaction among the boarders with many decisions of the authority and the recently ruined hall day, besides some other unaddressed issues. But again to be mentioned, the hall despite its titanic span has always been in a dynamic mode of development and maintenance. Team MM took inputs from the boarders and set meeting with the warden and hall secretaries in order to clarify the relevant and little-known updates on the hall.
Satish Dhawan Hall of Residence, or Hall 9 is spread across the largest planned sector on the campus of NIT Rourkela. The hall constitutes of 6 residing blocks all 4 storeyed, D block consisting of Mess and a common room with a Gymnasium and TV facilitated with sitting arrangements, H block as storeroom and kitchen, and I block housing the Warden's office. Each block consists of around 40 rooms on each floor summing to a total of 40 X 4 X 6= 960 rooms with a total of 1100 plus boarders residing in them. The hall has a central mess connecting all the blocks.
Each of two floors has been facilitated with a water cooler and an aqua-guard. The washrooms are cleaned regularly but are often found with doors broken. Each block contains two diagonally situated bathrooms, each having three toilets, three washrooms, three urinals, two taps, and two basins. One geyser is installed on each floor. E block often suffers from water supply problems because of the broken pump although it was very recently fixed. The electric supply was quite annoying with frequent and long-lasting power cuts but has proven to be consistent in the even semester. The rooms are cleaned once a week. The common room houses two indoor tennis courts and TT tables as well.
The Feast Fiasco:
On 31st March, the most awaited event, the hall day of SD was a nature-forced failure. Explaining the effect of the storm on the food, which according to most of the boarders was worse than normal day food, the general secretary said,
Like in all other halls, we this time decided to cook the food outside the mess. We didn’t foresee the storm coming. Even when the wind started blowing, we were in a hope that it wouldn’t gear up to that extent. All on a sudden, one blow of wind made the tent fall down and we had to bring the half-cooked meal inside the mess, which was eventually served in the dinner. The entire decoration too was ruined due to the storm. Demand for a compensatory dinner has been turned down by the warden due to budget issues.
The SD Hall of residence received a total annual budget of around 27 lakhs for year-round functioning. The budget has been an obvious issue for the hall due to the huge size and thus the unplanned requirements counting to unforeseen amounts. The repairs again are being actively postponed by the estate office probably because the deficit of funds the institute is suffering from currently.
Achievements this year:
The hall has undergone a good phase of development as far as 2018-19 is concerned. Apart from speedy responses to daily problems (only when they are drawn attention to the secretaries or warden), some major positive changes have taken place.
Lawns and Gardens:
The hall has a large swathe of empty land equivalent in area to the floor area of the hall which until last year lay barren. Creating a garden out of this piece of land on grounds of beautification of the hall in line with other halls of residence were amongst the top priorities of the Hall Executive Committee. The Estate Office was assigned the task of leveling of the entire area which was completed by February 2019. The task of laying grass hasn't been taken up yet considering the budget which was quoted at around 10 lakhs which the Estate Office could not manage this fiscal year. This task is under consideration for next year. Other than this the gardening around the pathways and periphery of the hall along with plantation was taken up under the hall funds amounting to around 2-3 lakhs. Quite a big fountain has also been constructed at one center of the right side of the hall. Into its 7th year, the hall still lacks a fully developed and flourishing garden but the herculean task is at least undertaken and is soon expected to own a sightful sector of flora where the hall will host its hall day with pride and dignity.
Until last year the hall lacked a cycle stand too. The boarders used to park their cycles in front of the entrance to the halls or in front of the rooms on the ground floor. The task to develop the ceiling of the basement of the C block was also undertaken and completed. The boarders are requested to park their cycles there and the air pump had also been shifted there. To this, the boarders have complained against the steep entrance to the stand damaging the cycles and also the problem of water logging in the basement. The warden has assured that these would be addressed in due time with some assistance from the estate office. The plan to construct a road that would lead directly to the cycle stand through the second gate already present is also among the top priorities so that the boarders do not have to take a path around half the hall. In due time the boarders can also expect a shed for cycles along the Technology Avenue outside the hall which would be functional during the day time.
Music Room, Gymnasium and TV Room:
At present, the hall has a small gymnasium functioning in the common room itself. It was felt that this place was not sufficient to the needs of the boarders and hence a larger part of the common room is being made into Gymnasium along with upgradation and procurement of new pieces of equipment. The already present room would be converted into a music room which is expected to be functional by next year.
The glitches to these plans were the leaking ceiling of the common room which endanger the safety of the equipment there. The Estate Office has again been assigned the task of fixing this problem. The large empty space of the common room reverberates the sound from TV which is also present in the same common room, and hence creating problems. This has been planned to be shifted to common rooms in the F and B blocks.
A good number of issues had been raised by the boarders before team MM caught up the hall secretaries and the warden for interviews. Some of them have been clarified by them as follows.
The Electric-wire Drawn Across the Road:
The borders have been facing frequent trouble with the pipeline drawn across the road between Block A and mess, and the other one behind the mess, be it running cycle with a low-pumped tire or falling due to skidding on rainy evenings. The warden in this regard replied,
It’s not something in my hands. The wires actually were placed temporarily to connect E, F & G blocks to A, B & C blocks as the blocks were blacked out due to some glitch in the wire connection which hasn’t yet been detected. The pipes can’t be taken away until the contractors find the glitch and fix it.
The Night Canteen Timing Threshold:
Regarding the new rule of closing the night canteen at 12:30 am, he said,
The decision was made by the Chief Warden and I wasn’t present when the decision was taken.
There are always some constraints when the students stay under their guidance of their parents. In their absence, we have to take that responsibility for their good.
The night canteen has been shifted to ground floor from G block on the third floor as some adjacent boarders complained about late night bustles made by the customers of the canteen.
The Hostelhold Glitches:
A good number of issues have stayed out of the notice of the hall authority.
A good number of doors on the floors are found broken and thus useless.
The sipping problem at the junction points of beams and blocks have continued to trouble the boarders.
The TV room pipe break-out has yet not been fixed as delayed by the estate workers.
The quality of mess food has shown a monotonic degradation in quality and quantity as well.
The roof doors are often found locked as per the warden's instructions as stated by the general secretaries.
The hall warden was optimistic about the problem being brought to his notice and he stated:
Students need to inform me about the issues faced by us. We will fix them without any delay as long as it’s in our hands.
SD hall houses a huge fraction of the total campus strength. The measures taken by the authorities need to be first fed back from the boarders and then implemented because at the end of the day it’s all for the welfare of them.