At a time when the central government has intensified its Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan to promote cleanliness, the Centre-run Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), has allegedly reduced the budget
At a time when the central government has intensified its Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan to promote cleanliness, the Centre-run Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), has allegedly reduced the budget for cleaning the rooms, toilets and corridors of the hostel. While the development has left IIT-B students fuming, its dean (student affairs) Soumyo Mukherji said that the decision was taken in the wake of the financial crunch the institute is facing.
A recent article published in IIT-B’s student newspaper Insight, revealed that the administration in its new maintenance budget for its hostel has cut down on the frequency of cleaning. The decision was taken in order to reduce the Public Health Officers’ (PHO) workload.
The PHOs are cleaners appointed by the institute on a contractual basis. They are entrusted with the responsibility to keep the institute and the hostel area spick and span.
According to the students, the cleaning of rooms, which was done on a weekly basis, has been revised to monthly now. The article at the Insight also stated that cleaning of toilets, bathrooms, urinals and washbasins was done thrice a day till now, will now be done only twice a day. The cleaning of staircase, corridors, foyers, dining all and TV rooms will now be bi-monthly, instead of monthly. “Earlier, every month we were provided 400 litres of handwash. However, the administration did away with this, too, in the recently announced budget. We feel this does not set a good precedent when it comes to the sanitation situation in the institute and hostel,” said a student of IIT-B, on condition of anonymity. The article reads, “On approaching the administration, they said that most students did not utilise the room-cleaning facility, thus it was wastage of manpower. Also, we were told that Swachh Bharat Abhiyan means students should clean their rooms themselves.” The article further said that according to the dean, providing hand-wash was dropped from the budget since it was felt as an unnecessary expense.
Confirming the development, dean of student affairs, Soumyo Mukherji, said, “The cleaning frequency has been reduced due to the financial crunch. It is sad to see the students are acting adamant to clean their rooms on their own. How can they expect the institute to clean their rooms and provide hand-wash on government’s expense ”