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KU canteens cater to small numbers

KARACHI, July 30: With 24,000 students enrolled, apart from the faculty and other staff, the University of Karachi seriously needs to increase the number of canteens on the campus from 20 odd to a reasonable number.

Though there is a marketing committee that looks after the price control as well as a bunch of people who are there to ensure the quality, little needs to be said about the overall condition.

As far as the teaching faculty is concerned, there is just one eating place for them called the Teacher's Club. Located away from the humdrum, near the pharmacy department, it is supposed to cater to the 700 or so teaching staff. However, due to it being located in a far away place, not many professors prefer to go there.

Whether it is the one rupee samosa of the admin block, chemistry department's chat, Majiday hotel's daal or Sufi's anda-ghotala, if one studies at the University of Karachi then these are the things that have surely been not missed out.

Nonetheless, with no specific canteen for every department, students flock to the ones closest to their department at times for just food and at others to chill out or to exchange notes and study materials. Girl students in particular are very fond of the samosas and rolls and take dozen or two home in a raw form and serve them after frying them with tea.

It has been two years since Professor Dr Abuzar Wajidi has been made head of the team that monitors the canteens. Though he is unaware of the actual prices of food or the number of canteens on the university campus he claims that his team is competent and is taking care of the affair pretty well.

"We are trying to make the existing canteens better and this is why we have stopped giving out contracts of new canteens to the outsiders", he says. He says that the food is tested on regular basis by a group of people and sent to lab.

He also maintains that marketing team of the university makes sure the prices of the goods remain uniform in the university. However, a student maintains that this is not the case and prices do vary from one canteen to the other.

"We have planned to give out outlets to Kentucky Fried Chicken and other such franchises" says Wajidi. KFC has agreed to give its products on 20 per cent discount to the students and ten per cent discount to university, he reveals.

"However, we have asked them to not to give ten per cent discount to the university and instead give their food on 30 per cent less rates to the students instead" Dr Wajidi says. Despite all the claims by Wajidi many students believe that the news of franchise outlets in the university is not new and that it was expected to be opened few years back.

When the Operation Manager of KFC, Humayun Sajid, is asked about the certainty of the project he says that "We have persued the university quite a few times but never got a positive response in this regard. Therefore we can't say when they will approve and finalise it", he says.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr Pirzada Qasim, maintains that he understood that the number of tuck shops on the campus was not sufficient for 18,000 or so students that were present in the university daily.

He shows his concern about the tuck shops and says "We are trying to improve not only the quality of the food but also the ambiance of the canteens". He adds after a pause "A tuck shop in my opinion should be a place more appealing to the aesthetic sense and having a clean and inviting atmosphere to it, whereas the ones we have seem not so pleasant and are badly managed".

The VC however maintains that "The quality of food and prices are monitored and are looked after, and if someone tries to defy the rules, then he is penalised, fined or his licence is cancelled". Dawn

Your Comments

"im a student of M.Sc final of chemistry dept and i think that chemistrys canteen call talib bhai wali canteen is the best canteen ever.b/c talib bhai is also a nice person and also Whaid bhai and Baba is also very nice and his bergur and samosas and rolls are good enough for us and including CHATT in our dept is much much better then others the other canteen like Jabbar bhai in P.G and Ch.majeed and Qasim bhai samosas are also good i think we dont need any Franchaise or any other outlets in campus b/c our canteens are the speciality of university people outside the campus are very exciting to eat qasim bhai samosas and Jabbar bhai Chana Chatt and we love to eat it too.KFC and many others resturants most of the students not afford and it will creat also a complex in students and employes on the other hand there is a good resturant at MASKAN bovichick its also good those who want to hangout there they go over there after their classses."
Name: Faizi
City, Country: karachi, Pakistan

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