Mumbai: The students’ wing of Nationalist Congress Party has threatened protest if the Mumbai University does not take action against its canteens and those in its affiliated colleges that allegedly do not have the necessary food, fire safety, and operating documents.
Amol Matele, Mumbai President of Rashtravadi Vidyarthi Congress said that many college canteens serve sub-standard junk food and endanger the health of students besides overcharging them. “The UGC (University Grants Commission) has issued guidelines that colleges must not serve such food. The University is supposed to see that it is implemented by its affiliated colleges,” Matele said.
He added that the university has not floated a tender every year for canteens in its campuses, as per RTI (Right to Information) replies he has received.
Matele has written a letter regarding the matter to the university Vice Chancellor Dr. Sanjay Deshmukh and minister for food, civil supplies, and consumer protection, Girish Bapat.
While he claims that the university has not given proper answers to some questions he had asked under RTI pertaining to the matter, Registrar of the university, M.A. Khan said that the appellant did not pursue the matter with higher authorities as is the procedure under RTI.
Khan added that canteens of affiliated colleges do not come under the jurisdiction of the university and that other government departments such as the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) had to look into it. “We can take action if we receive complaints about specific canteens though but we don’t have the mechanism to monitor all of them,” he said, adding that the university routinely sends circulars and guidelines to colleges on rules they must follow in this regard.