|Vice-chancellor Rattan Lal Hangloo; (right) one of the stalls
on the Kalyani University campus. Pictures by Ranjit Sarkar
Kalyani, Jan. 12: Kalyani University has decided to regularise unauthorised food stalls on the campus against a one-time payment of Rs 30,000 each.
Vice-chancellor Rattan Lal Hangloo, who joined the university in November last year, decided against evicting the 15-odd stalls, some of whom have been a haunt for hungry students for around 20 years.
“We didn’t want to evict them as we didn’t want to be ruthless. The previous authorities should have taken steps not to allow the stalls to mushroom on the campus. Some of them have been there for about 20 years. At a meeting of the campus development committee last month, it was decided that the stalls would be regularised,” Hangloo said.
The VC added that the owners of the stalls — selling ice-creams to idlis — would have to pay Rs 30,000 to seek a lifetime licence from the varsity. They will also have to pay a monthly rent, but the amount is yet to be decided.
Hangloo has also asked the visual arts department of the varsity to design a “food court” on the campus, where the 15-odd stalls would be shifted.
“The stalls are located haphazardly. They create visual pollution. I have asked the visual arts department to come up with a design for a food court where these stalls will be shifted. They will be called food huts. The teachers and students of the department will ensure that the area looks attractive,” the VC said.
Asked about the design, professor Ritendra Roy, the head of the visual arts department and a member of the campus development committee, said: “We are working on the design of the food huts. We have been asked to use natural materials such as bamboo and wood to make the huts look attractive. We want to avoid visual pollution on the campus.”
Students said they relied more on the stalls than the three canteens of the varsity that sell mostly snacks and beverages.
The students flock to the stalls not only for lunch but also for refreshments. Their varied menu ranges from rice and fish curry to phuchkas and jhalmuri, said an English graduand.
Ram Barui, who has been running an eatery on the campus for the past 20 years, said: “Initially, there was a buzz that we will be evicted as we don’t have permits. I set up my stall two decades ago and have been selling food since then. Nobody ever protested. I welcome the vice-chancellor’s decision. We should pay some money to the university for running a trade here.”
According to Hangloo, the varsity intends to invite the likes of IRCTC and Nescafe to open outlets on the campus.