300 tribal students ‘starve’ amid hostel canteen shut down

Bhubaneswar: With the canteen closed, nearly 300 students staying in the Urban Hostel at Ghatikia in Bhubaneswar have been left to starve since yesterday night.

The canteen was allegedly shut after students complained about the quality of food served. Official sources said all the students are reportedly from BJB, Maharshi and Rajdhani Colleges under Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) area limits.

“Yesterday, we had lodged a complaint regarding the poor quality of food and today the officials operating the canteen closed the facility. As a result, we have not had our food since last night,” said a student.

Another student alleged that “In the name of dal, water was being served and when we complained, the facility was shut.”

Hostel assistant, Somanath Jena informed that the Urban Hostel is directly managed by the district welfare officer, Khurda.
“After tender, the agency was roped in to operate the canteen here,” said Jena.

District Welfare Officer, Manoj Nayak on the other hand claimed that the agitation of students has been orchestrated by two students who were earlier rusticated from the hostel.