Even as the admission season is witnessing an outpour of students at Panjab University, the institution is lagging behind to provide some of the basic infrastructure facilities for students on the premises. Washrooms of several departments at the university are locked, unclean or bereft of dustbins to dispose of sanitary napkins. Chandigarh Newsline surveyed these facilities.
Department of French
Aashtha from the French Department said, “If and when we complain to the HOD about the non-availability of dustbins inside female washrooms, they arrange it. But after a couple of days it is again not there. When we do not complain, they do not take care of these basic things. Cleaning of the washrooms is not a regular as well. It happens on and off.”
Department of English
A recent graduate of the department, who does not wish to be identified, said, “Cleanliness of the washrooms is not a problem in our department. Our problem is water scarcity. Non-availability of water in the washrooms was frequent. We used to complain to the department office, but they only offered temporary solutions. There was no effort to resolve the issue permanently.”
School of Communication Studies
On condition of anonymity, a final year masters student of the department said, “The condition of washrooms in the department is indeed poor. Even though the department tries its best to keep them neat and clean as much as it can, because of a lack of funding from the university, there are no proper latches or jet sprays in the female washrooms. Dustbin to dispose of sanitary napkins are also not there. We often run out of the hand wash or sanitizer. At times, because the washrooms are not cleaned, the stalls become a breeding ground for wasps and flees. The unavailability of a different washroom for faculty is another problem.”
When Chandigarh Newsline went to survey these washrooms, the ground floor washrooms were locked. Large common dustbins were placed outside the female washrooms, however, there were no dustbins inside.
Department of Chinese and Tibetan
The female washroom of this department were only half constructed, with some of the construction work still pending. Some open pipes in the washroom are yet to be covered and no dustbins were found inside.
Arts Block 4
The female washroom at ground floor of Arts Block 4, were marred with a foul smell, in proof of a lack of cleanliness in these stalls.
At PU’s ISSER there are two washrooms for female students on the ground floor. One of the two washrooms were clean and one washroom was found locked during Chandigarh Newsline’s survey.
On the bad state of affairs of washrooms at PU, DSW Women Neena Capalash said, “I agree that the basic sanitation should be maintained in all the departments. We try our best to do so. I personally keep a check on the public washrooms at Student Centre. A sanitary napkin vending machine has been installed there. The department washrooms come under the chairpersons. They would be able to reason best as to why the washrooms are locked or some of them do not have dustbins. Although now that you have brought this to my notice, I will make sure that the correction steps are taken at the earliest.”