Chandigarh: Punjab University session begins today

Chandigarh: As Panjab University prepares to resume its academic session, the student centre popularly known as Stooke is all set to provide better hygiene to the students. Two weeks ago, cockroaches were allegedly found in the food served at one of the Stooke shops, following which students staged a protest. Reacting to the situation, the university authorities fined some shops for not maintaining hygiene and ordered the shops to be closed on a rotation basis once a month to carry out cleaning work. Following the incident, some students barged into some shops and made videos of these shops. These videos later went viral on social media.

A shopkeeper, on the condition of anonymity, said, “We usually clean the kitchen before serving food. We are bound to ensure proper hygiene and serve good quality food. We cannot do injustice to our livelihood and our customers. Apart from regular cleaning, we will also do deep cleaning of the kitchen once a month as per the instructions issued by the university administration.” He further said, “This incident was unfortunate. We had collectively decided to keep our shops closed on specific days of each month for cleaning and maintenance purpose. While half of the shops will remain closed on the second Sunday of each month, the rest will remain closed on the last Sunday of each month.

Students are disappointed with the quality of food and unhygienic conditions, while some eatery managers blamed students for the poor maintenance of the stoves. “Most of the students leave food plates and waste anywhere around the centre. Students should also contribute to the clean campus by keeping the used plates at designated places,” said a shopkeeper. Some shopkeepers also demanded revision of food prices. “Prices of basic raw materials have increased, but we are selling food items at the same old rates. Food is available very cheap here and sometimes we have to contribute from our own pockets to run the business here,” said another shopkeeper.

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