Addressing the Issues: Chief Warden's Column
With his tenure coming to an end, Monday Morning talks to the Chief Warden- Prof. S.K. Pratihar about the flaring issues of the students like pest control and shortage of rooms. Here is what he has to say about them:
Monday Morning (MM): There is no cycle repair shop near KMS Hall of Residence and girls of that hall have to go to near back-post to get their cycle repaired. Is there is any plan to open such a shop near KMS Hall?
Prof. S.K. Pratihar (SKP): I don’t have any offer from any cycle vendor or mechanic to open such a shop near KMS. Also, it is challenging to find men to operate such shops. If students can find someone who can manage the shop, then I will open a shop and hand it over to him.
MM: The stationary shops of MV and GDB Halls of Residence are not operational since long. Is there any plan to reopen them?
SKP: The biggest problem is finding people who can operate the shops. And this case of stationery shops being not functional was not in my notice. I will prompt the wardens of the respective halls to look into the matter. The stationery shop of HB is also under consideration and will be allotted to someone soon.
MM: There is a limit to the wattage of electricity that is being supplied in the hostels. How will students get hot water in winter to drink and use for other purposes?
SKP: The wattage of electricity is limited in every hostel for the safety of students. To the question of water kettles and heaters, students are not allowed to use and keep them in hostels. If they want hot water, they can access the water kettles kept in a mess alongside the toaster. The kettles were distributed some days ago only.
MM: The night canteens, as the name suggests, should be open all night as many students burn the midnight oil to study hard and fell hungry in the night. But the night canteen closes as soon as 12 at midnight. Why is there a limit to the timing of night canteens?
SKP: The timing for the night canteens has been set by the Director, and if the students are facing problem due to it, they should take the complaints to the Director.
MM: There is no laundry service or washing machines in KMS. Girls face a lot of problem due to that and have to wash the clothes themselves. Is there any plan to implement any system for that?
SKP: We have currently installed five washing machines in GDB Hall of Residence on a trial basis, and if it is a success, then we will extend it to other hostels as well. As for now, I will ask the laundry services near back post to go and collect clothes from KMS as well.
MM: There have been several complaints reported for the pest menace existing in the Hall premises that cause a great deal of inconvenience to the boarders. What are the measures been taken to tackle these issues?
SKP: Regarding the insect infestation, we fumigate the whole campus every weekend and try to keep the halls clean. For the stray dogs and cats, there is nothing much we can do as there are multiple entrances for them inside a hostel like windows and open drains. It is impossible to monitor them all. If the students are facing such problems, they should come up with a solution for it.
MM: What is the budget allocated for pest management?
SKP: For every fumigation, it takes 15000/- per hall. The fumigation cannot be done more regularly as it is a costly process, and we cannot spend more money on that.
MM: There are many open drains in many hostels due to which students face many problems. What is lagging in the management?
SKP: The problem is there are so many open drains, it is very costly to cover them all now. Also, if a drainage problem comes up, it will be difficult to solve with a closed drainage system.
MM: What steps have been taken to remove the enormous chunks of beehives in the upper floors of the hostels like GDB and SD?
SKP: I didn’t know about the problem. I will inform the wardens of the respective halls and get on with it.
MM: Is there any committee to review the quality and hygiene of the night canteens in the campus?
SKP: There is a Food and Hygiene Committee which reviews the night canteens periodically and submit the report to me.
MM: What is the procedure to change the halls?
SKP: The hall allotted to a student can only be changed at the beginning of the semester. The student has to apply for it to me with an application and we will try to find a mutual replacement for that student. If there are two students who want to switch halls, then I will do it.
MM: Will the students moving to the third year get single seated rooms?
SKP: No. All the students moving to third-year this semester will get double-seated rooms. This decision was taken due to a lack of rooms, and the student population is increasing day by day. So we don’t have enough rooms as the number of students taking admission is more than the students who are graduating. So the students have to accommodate somehow in that matter.
When we approach the authorities for the building of new hostels, we are told that our hostel built space is more than what is permissible according to the government guidelines. So, even if we want, we cannot build new hostels.
MM: Is there any update on the diesel generators which were planned to be a bit fitted in the boy’s hostel as well?
SKP: The DGs’ is still in the plan, but since the estate doesn’t have the funds for it, we can’t do anything about it. I once thought of buying DGs from the hostel fund, but there are not enough funds to buy them for all the hostels. So I dropped the plan.
MM: Is there any plan to extend the hostels as since the number of students is going to increase, eventually all the rooms will be filled, and there won’t be any vacant rooms for more intake?
SKP: I haven’t thought about it as my tenure is going to end soon, and the burden will be on the one who takes over. It is not my tension now to oversee the capacity of the halls and the number of students.
MM: What will be your message to the students of NITR?
I will say that whatever problems the students are facing right now, the solution must come from them only as they are the ones who understand the issues better and can provide better solutions to the problems they are facing.