Thiruvananthapuram: Delegates from the northern states participating in the 97th Indian Science Congress which began on the Karyavattom campus of the University of Kerala on Sunday had a torrid time at the venue.
The quick transition from the bitter cold in the north to the hot, humid conditions in Kerala made them uncomfortable.
Sweating profusely, many of them took off their sweaters and coats. Some felt weak and were forced to rush out of the halls to the shade of trees. The high humidity inside the main venue saw the delegates squirming in their seats. The drinking water dispensers provided by the organisers inside the venues were a relief. Delegates queued up before the dispensers to take water in bottles, flasks and cups. Volunteers rushed to replace the empty canisters.
Law Minister M. Vijayakumar inaugurated the Kerala Gramam inside the campus, an area demarcated and artistically designed to showcase the traditional culture and practices of the State.
The Pride of India exhibition organised as part of the Science Congress also opened its doors to the public on Sunday. Public and private sector institutions, university departments and research institutions have stalls in the exhibition. However, many delegates and visitors who turned up for the exhibition in the evening were disappointed as the organisers wound up the event by 5 p.m. Scores of visitors were turned away by security men posted at the gates. The organisers said the decision to wind up the exhibition by 5 p.m. was taken by the contractors. They also cited problems with the power supply.
Rush at food court
The delegates’ food court near the main venue saw a heavy rush during the lunch hours on the first day. The big hall was jam-packed with people queuing up before the buffet tables. The organisers said the system would be streamlined from Monday to avoid the rush.