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After outrage, IIT Madras agrees to provide quarantining students the same menu followed before lockdown, waives packing charges

The institute is still under lockdown and 191 people have tested positive. It has reportedly denied allegations about COVID protocols not followed in the mess

Earlier this week, IIT Madras had closed its campus, hostels and mess, after a large number of students tested positive for COVID. The sudden lockdown, unsurprisingly, came with its own handicaps. The students had complained about how they weren’t informed about when packed food was served to them and that the quality and quantity of food was quite poor.

According to student sources, the institute authorities have now reached out to the students saying that providing food to so many students all of a sudden was rather a challenging task for them and have promised to follow the mess menu that was followed before the lockdown. They have also agreed to waive off the packing charges for the students. They will also be provided additional items that can be bought by paying extra.

“The officials asked us to arrange for the supply of food packets on Saturday evening to all hostels. We had a very short time for this. Providing food packets in such a large number with a very short time was a challenge as we are not allowed to bring any new caterer without testing and quarantining,” reads an email by the department of Hostel Management. “Due to the sudden spurt in the COVID cases in the hostel zone, the Chennai Corporation has closed the hostels till the spread is contained. As the mess at Himalaya was closed due to contamination, we had only one option of a mess operating at Vindhya,” it reads.

The email also says that the administration had to arrange for packing material too. “Packing for such large numbers with the limited manpower in the existing kitchen is also a challenge and therefore the caterer has changed the packing to a box packing. That has increased the packing charges to Rs 45 per day. However, as a special measure, the packing charges for this period will not be borne by you and will be taken care of by OHM,” it reads.

The institute is still under lockdown and 191 people have tested positive. While there were allegations about COVID protocols not followed in the mess, reports suggest that the institute has denied the same.