Of late, there has been discontentment among students on the shut down of many eateries in the institute like Campus Hub, Amul Parlour as well as few of the hostel canteens. From the information gathered, the current status of the hostel and department canteens are as follows:
- H1 canteen: Currently functional
- H2 canteen: Canteen is functional only after dinner timings in the mess area
- H3 canteen: It has been planned that canteen will be functional in mess after dinner but not yet operational.
- H4 canteen: Not functional
- H5 canteen: Functional
- H6 canteen: Functional
- H7 canteen: Closed
- H8 canteen: Closed
- H9 canteen: Canteen is functional only after dinner timings in the mess area.
- H10 canteen: Functional
- H11 canteen: Not Functional
- H12,13 and 14 Canteen: Canteen functional only after dinner timings in the mess
- H15: Functional
- H16: Canteen is functional only after dinner timings in the mess area
- H18: Both mess and canteen are not functional.
- Tansa House: Canteen and mess are functional.
The reasons behind the closure of canteens vary from hygiene test failure to lapse of their contracts. The H4 canteen remains non-functional since the Hygiene Committee found out about the violation of various hygiene parameters during a raid, which subsequently caused its closure. Amul Parlour was closed because of failing hygiene standards, in addition to license issues. Campus Hub had its license expired and hence was closed. Currently, Hostel 8 is being demolished, hence the canteen remains closed. The H11 canteen has certification issues which will be resolved at the earliest and the tendering of H18 canteen is yet to happen as the infrastructure is not ready. The tendering of H18 is expected to be done as soon as the construction gets completed. Whereas, the H7 canteen has been shut down by the vendor for 4 months due to a rapid decline in sales as the residents were shifted to other hostels.
On the other hand, the reason behind the night canteens functioning in mess is because the canteen structures do not have fire safety NOC. The canteens need some changes to get the NOC from BMC, which may take some time. To avoid inconvenience to the students, the canteens are temporarily made to operate in the mess itself using mess kitchens after dinner. The canteen of Hostel 12-13-14 does not have any particular permanent structure so the night canteen operates after dinner in the mess itself.
The KreSit canteen will stay open in the foreseeable future as the vendor has submitted relevant documents. The Nescafe coffee shack also remains functional, however, it has been shifted from the LTPCSA foyer since the Hostel Affairs Council has started the tendering process for another cafe in the previous location.
Among the academic departments, there are canteens available only in the following departments
- Chemical Engineering (9:00 am – 8:00 pm)
- Electrical Engineering (9:30 am – 8 pm)
- Computer Science and Engineering (KreSit) (8:00 am – 8:00 pm)
Recently, a fruit juice stall was started in SAC parking lot opposite to H1.
As an effort to streamline the food requirements of students, the hostel affairs council came up with the initiative of Food Trucks in the previous semester. According to Siddhant Patil ( ISHA), currently, there are two functional food trucks in the institute.
- The first food truck “Be Desi Tadka” operates as follows:
- LCH parking lot (below LH complex) : 08:00 hrs-14:00 Hrs
- Library parking: 14:30 hrs – 21:00 Hrs
- The second food truck “The Bhookh Bungla” operates as follows:
- Old SAC Parking lot: 10:00 hrs – 22:00 hrs
- Near Amul Cafe i.e. near 12-13-14 hostel : 23:00 hrs – 5:00 hrs
According to students, prices charged by food trucks are significantly on the higher side and they haven’t been able to fill the void created by the shutting down of prominent eateries like Campus Hub and Amul Parlour.
Many students, especially in the summers, faced extreme difficulties as there were very few affordable and good eateries available after the summertime closure of the majority of the messes. It was a failure on the part of the hostel council to foresee the current situation and come up with alternate solutions.
As of now, apart from canteens, other food options available for students are Brews and Bites, Food Trucks, KreSit canteen and Gulmohar. Other night canteen options available outside the institute are Maddu Mess and the Dosa-wala
We hope to see some quick actions to be taken by the responsible authorities to improve the availability of good and affordable food in the institute.
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