Students of the Maharaja’s College hostel went on strike on Thursday after the hostel mess was shut down due to lack of funds. Students came out on to the centre circle of the college and demanded that the hostel mess be reopened.

The mess had to be shut down as money from the Directorate of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes Development and the Lakshadweep fund had not been received. “The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes fund has not been paid since October 2012,” said the hostel warden.

Food grains and vegetables were being procured on credit for a while. The mess had to be closed down after suppliers refused to provide goods without payment from Thursday.

After the students protested, college Principal negotiated with the suppliers to provide food on credit for one more week. “The Directorate has promised to pay the dues soon,” said the hostel warden. The mess was reopened on Thursday evening after the college authorities reached an agreement with the suppliers. Students said the quality of food had been going down for a while due to the shortage. “They make up for the shortage by simply adding a lot of water to everything,” said a student in the hostel. The quantity had also come down and students had to hurry to the mess if they wanted enough food, said another student.

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