Students protest at eviction notice to Pramod-da's canteen

Kolkata
23 Sep 2017

The Presidency University has asked its oldest canteen owner to vacate hall to make way for the new selected bidder triggering protests by students in the campus till last night.
"A bidder who has been selected after taking part in the tendering process of the canteen has been asked to take over and Pramod-da (Pramod Sain) was served with a notice last evening to vacate the canteen hall immediately. The newly selected bidder will run the same canteen when the institution reopens after puja vacation," a university official told PTI today.
He said that the university has to follow certain procedures to allow a commercial estabishment like a canteen to run in the campus and for that a tendering process is essential. Pramod-da did not take part in the tendering process though bids were re-invited in two months and the required annual turnover of prospective bidders was brought down from the initial Rs 16.6 to Rs 6 lakh.
Asked to comment on agitation by students from different unions AISA, SFI, IC which continued till 10 pm yesterday in protest against the decision, he said, "I am sure the students will not be swayed by miscommunication. They should not take law into their hands and instead help in running the university."
Presidency students union member and former Independent Consolidation (IC) Convenor Arkopal Dutta said, "we'll not allow Pramod-da to leave. We'll launch a movement to retain him once the puja vacation ends on October 9. Pramod-da is synonymous with Presidency."
Claiming that he was given two and half hours' notice to vacate the canteen hall yesterday, Swain said, "how can I shift refrigerator, vending machines and other machines which cost lakhs of rupees, in such short notice?"
Claiming that he had no problem in participating in tender process, he said, "I would have taken part in the tender, but the university authorities set the conditions that there should be ESI and PF facilities which I don't have. I do have trade and food licenses but that is of little use to them I think. They are again asking for a balance sheet of three years. How can I produce that!"
He claimed the students stopped shifting any article from the canteen and raised money to put up two locks on the door of the canteen hall. "They said they won't allow me to leave the canteen I have been running for four decades."
Pramod-da's canteen is one of the three canteens in the premier institution with the other two being more recent additions. (PTI)