India's premier institute IIT Bombay on Sunday attempted to clarify the reports of non-veg ban from a roof-top campus in the civil engineering department. The institute's PRO said in a statement that the reports are false as the cafeteria has only been directed to serve packaged food due to health and safety reasons. The cafe had been serving stale food, the statement said.
According to reports, the cafeteria has been asked not to serve non-veg food after some students raised objections. The 'non-veg ban' in the institutes' most popular cafeteria comes after a recent mail, asking students from hostel 11 to use separate plates for non-vegetarian food, was issued. The circular was withdrawn later.
The recent order, reports claim, also bans entry of non-civil engineering students to the cafeteria as well.
An institute spokesperson, however, said that most measures have been imposed following the Kamala Mills fire incident. "This is the only terrace cafeteria we have. It is not fit for cooking... Some students even complained of food poisoning. The non-vegetarian food is brought in the morning and kept until evening. Since it gets spoilt faster and is the major cause of food poisoning, the department has banned it," said the spokesperson.
The cafe also is used by students from other departments and had become a party hub of sorts even beyond academic hours, said the official.
A faculty member said the department could have ensured only fresh food is served, if health and safety was the concern.
Dean of students' affairs, Soumyo Mukherji, said non-vegetarian food is not banned on campus and is served at all canteens and mess. "We will look at having a similar eating joint like the civil cafe in a non-academic area," he said. The institute's canteens and messes are in the hostel area, while the cafeterias are near academic ones.