Some of the stock from a food centre and bakery had expired way back in 2009 and 2010.

Uni of Hyderabad cracks down on stale campus food but are only shop-owners to blameAll images by arrangement
news Food safety Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 09:31

Cracking down on substandard food being sold within the campus, officials of the University of Hyderabad raided four shops in the campus on Saturday and seized stale food, expired and unhygienic products from both South and North campus.

According to an office bearer of the students union, UoH security officials, along with students union representatives, launched the raids following a student's complaint that he fell sick after consuming food from one of the shops in university campus.

The recovery through the raids however has shocked officials, as some of the stock from a food centre and bakery had expired way back in 2009 and 2010.

The abysmal standards in the maintenance of outlets has raised serious health concerns. On Monday, officials raided one more shop and seized expired material. 

Two shops, Shiva Shakti Traders (Sunil Shop) and GOPS, that have functioned from within the campus for a long time, were also among those raided. They have also sealed the shops until further notice.

Speaking to TNM, security in-charge, TV Rao who headed the raids, said, "As of now we have raided five shops on campus. Administration has issued show cause notice to these shops seeking explanation from them within 24 hours".

He added, "The university will act as per their response, a committee will take a decision".

He refused to comment further on suspension of licenses of the shops.

Tender violations in awarding food contracts?

Besides highlighting health issues, these raids have also raised concerns of massive irregularities in the tenders allotted by the University. Some of these shop owners have repeatedly won the tender to run their business in the campus. A source told TNM that a few enterprises had been there for more than 2 decades.

Speaking to TNM, Suman Damera, Students Union General Secretary said, "We insisted on these raids after several complaints from students on quality and service"

He also added, "Massive irregularities are happening because a few people have managed to secure the tender repeatedly and some for more than 20 years. Their licenses should be cancelled and they should be barred from taking part in future tenders."

However, Prakash Babu, Dean of Student Welfare, told TNM, "Some people may have been winning the "tender" for a long time, but all that university is doing is giving at lowest price of services, these lowest bidding shops are happened to be those shops.”

He added that the "university will form a committee, we will look into any grievance if we were addressed in written format."

Gurram Ashok, a Ph.D. scholar, said that when he questioned the quality of items in a shop, the person running the shop rebuked him saying, “This university is full of scholarship holders, they deserve this quality only.”