The announcement of the closure of the Maharaja’s College hostel mess owing to financial crunch, has left the students disgruntled. The students staged a hunger strike on the college campus on Thursday.
The SFI expressed solidarity with the strike and classes were disrupted. The strike ended in the afternoon when authorities held talks with students and assured them that a temporary arrangement has been worked out.
“We staged a hunger strike in the morning to protest against the decision to close the mess. Breakfast and lunch were not served in the men’s hostel. We ended the strike when the authorities assured us that the mess would be re-opened,” said Anoop, college union chairman.
The hostel authorities were forced to announce the closure of the mess on Wednesday as the supply stores were adamant that they would cut provisions from Thursday until the dues were paid. “We spoke to the agitated students and decided to stage a protest,” said Manoj, hostel warden.
He said the students in the general category have not paid the mess fee for the last three months which amounts to dues of about Rs 3 lakh,” he said. “The authorities said the allotment was over and they would be able to provide the funds in a fortnight’s time. As a result we are not able to pay the Department Store and College Society that supply the provisions. The procedures for transfer of funds is time-consuming. Even after reaching the principal, the transfer of funds to the hostel office takes time,” said Manoj.
“The funds have been delayed but we have decided to use the college funds for now keep the mess running,” said Mary Matilda, Principal.