Madurai Kamaraj University starves for a canteen

The university houses 20 schools comprising 77 departments.

Published: 22nd December 2022 04:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd December 2022 04:32 AM   |  A+A-

Madurai Kamaraj University.

Express News Service

MADURAI:  Though the Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU), one of the major universities in the state, caters to over 4,650 students and research scholars in addition to several hundreds of teaching and non-teaching staff, the absence of even a single canteen on the varsity premises has been a cause of annoyance for the last many months.

The university houses 20 schools comprising 77 departments. Apart from the crowds attached to these departments, staff and students from the 123 colleges affiliated to MKU also visit the varsity often. Speaking to TNIE, S Sharmila, a student from the MKU's Directorate of Distance Education, said she was asked to attend practical classes for a week at the varsity every year. For the student, who travelled from her house in Dindigul to the varsity daily, absence of a canteen meant that she had to go to great lengths to eat breakfast and lunch.

"Before coming to MKU for the first time, I checked its website. It is clearly mentioned that the university canteen is open from 8 am to 6 pm on all working days, including Saturdays. I was very relieved seeing this, as packing food to the varsity wouldn't work for me since I have to leave the house at 6 am to reach MKU at least by 10 am. Only when I finally began to search for the canteen during lunch time, I became aware that there was no such facility there. I had to walk 2 km to Vadapalanji area to have lunch," she said.

A staff member lamented that if any guest or friend came to the campus to meet them, there was no way to provide them food. "Also, since we have to travel far outside the varsity to have food, it eats into our work time and indirectly affects the work quality. Even the huge number of hostel inmates have no other choice if they don't like the menu provided that day," the staff member added.

Responding to the issue, Vice Chancellor J Kumar said MKU used to run its canteen through contractors. "The last contractor left around a year ago as the canteen profit was not sufficient for him. We have already published advertisements inviting contractors and soon the canteen service will resume," he added.


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