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Protest by JNU students

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: : Even as the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) gives finishing touches to its proposal for a "Food Haat'' on the campus, the University Campus Development Committee has asked the Union to submit a comprehensive and comparative report on current canteen rates in other colleges following a protest by them against the price hike in various dhabas.

Students had staged a protest today against the sudden hike in dhaba rates and the drop in hygiene standards. "The rates were increased much before VAT came into force, so it is clearly not a result of that.

And since the increase has been 20-30 per cent, it makes a difference to students. University officials had initially told us that the increase is inevitable if we want to maintain quality, but we think it is because of a possible increase in their rents that the dhabas have hiked up the prices,'' said the JNUSU president, Mona Das.

According to students, the dhaba rates are much higher than those at places outside the campus.

The report on the price pattern in other colleges has to be submitted within two to three weeks by the students. And while the hike in rates was the main reason for Monday's protest, the students also raised the issue of replacing the Nestle outlet with a Food Haat that would serve cuisines from various Indian states.

"We had demanded that the Nestle be replaced by a Food Haat that could serve food items from different states. The University has asked us to submit a detailed report on what exactly we want and how the seating arrangements and other things would be done. We are working on it and hoping to submit it soon,'' added Mona Das.

Also raised was the issue of hygiene in the dhabas, which students feel has been below the mark and needs the immediate attention of University authorities.

"During the Nestle controversy the most common argument given by many students for letting it stay was that it was hygienic. Since a sizable number of students brought up the issue of hygiene, we believe it is a serious concern and needs to be taken up,'' said Mona Das .

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