Following a protest by the students against unhygienic food served in the hostels on Wednesday, the Panjab University directed the mess and canteen contractors to maintain hygiene and sanitation.
The university administration also promised to reimburse the entire expenditure on the medical treatment of the students who were diagnosed with neurocyisticerosis, a preventable parasitic infection of the central nervous system and is caused by the pork tapeworm Taenia solium.
The students held a demonstration in front of the vice-chancellor’s office and stopped the controller of examinations and other officials from entering the room.
PU registrar Col G S Chadha (retd) held talks with the protesting students who alleged that some students have developed medical problems after consuming unhygienic food served at university hostels.
The students, including main complainant Harwinder Kaur, informed the VC that as many as seven cases of neurocyisticerosis have been detected in various hostels so far.
The registrar assured the students that he would inquire into the matter.
According to the directions issued by the university, the contractors have been asked to ensure that they procure the food licence from the Chandigarh health department.
The students have urged the vice-chancellor that the entire expenditure on the treatment of the students concerned should be reimbursed. The Panjab University authorities have agreed to their demand and will reimburse the total cost of medical treatment of the students affected by the disease.
In the report submitted to the vice-chancellor on Wednesday by the PU medical board, comprising university doctors, confirmed that the five girls had developed cysticercosis.
The medical board has suggested various corrective measures like good personal hygiene of all, including the food handlers, through proper washing of hands before eating and after defecation.
It has also suggested adequate cooking of food, thorough washing of vegetables before eating or cooking, apart from ensuring provision of clean drinking water and disposal of sewerage waste.