By Divyansh Srivastava.
They were unerring who said that you don’t know the worth of water until the well is dry. The residents of Aravali hostel realized this the hard way during the recent “water crisis”, as they chose to call it.
Acute shortage of safe, potable water plagued the hostel for more than 4 days. The problem came to the fore when chains of people started going down with food poisoning and stomach infections on an almost daily basis. The numbers tell the story further; some 12 odd first yearites and 4 second year students were reported ill on the first day itself, and the number only rose in the next couple of days. This apparent domino effect continued for a while until finally it dawned upon the innocuous minds of the hostel occupants that it was infected water (and hence, food) that was the culprit . There was some unrest among the students, especially the still-unaccustomed first year students, who cribbed about the hostel not being able to provide something as salient as safe drinking water. Some outraged freshers made no effort to veil their disgust, claiming that “If the hostel charges us as much as it does as mess fee, isn’t it the fundamental duty of its functioning bodies to ensure the basic well-being of its members?”.
Meanwhile, the mess and maintenance committee rose to take action before the situation further deteriorated.
Speaking with the newly appointed maintenance secretary, Avdhesh Vyas, it was learnt that zeroing in on what exactly was wrong itself took a couple of days. “On performing thorough checks, nothing untoward was found in the connections inside the hostel. Eventually, disruption in the main pipeline was identified as the cause for contaminated water”, he said. He further added, “Efforts were made to decimate the issue at its core; sewage workers were called upon to somehow cleanse the pipeline.” However, much to the dismay of the hostel members, the precise location at which the pipeline started entertaining waste remains unknown. The mess and maintenance committee has, meanwhile, installed dispensers containing packaged drinking water in the mess, as temporary relief for the students.
In the near future, various developments are expected from the governing bodies of the hostel. In the wake of these disturbing developments, the caretaker had sent a letter to the dean of student affairs, which has now culminated in the decision to install RO technology in the hostel latest by 20th April. However, this provision had only been made for the ground floor; as for the top floor water cooler, it still needed attention. In came the dark horses : the hostel alumni. In a rendezvous with the alumni of 1991-92 on Thursday, 4th April, it was discussed that a respectable chunk of the alumni donation would go into improving the sanitary conditions of the hostel, and the top floor water cooler is expected to be maintained using the same. Phew!!
The situation, for now, seems to be under control. With the untiring efforts of the maintenance committee and the blessed intervention of the hostel alumni, the “Aravali water crisis” would soon be history. We, on our part can only keep our fingers crossed.