IIT Delhi sacks mess worker after dead rat found in food

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New Delhi, Sep 29: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi fired one mess worker and suspended another days after a dead rat was found in the food served in one of its hostel canteens. In a mail sent to the students of the institute, its Director Ram Gopal Rao intimated them of the steps taken after the incident, which included speeding up of the hostel renovation work and hiring service of an external agency to give training to the mess workers on preparing and handling food. "Based on the report of the committee, which is formed to look into the recent incident in the Aravali Boys Hostel mess, institute has decided to dismiss from service one mess worker and suspend another employee for dereliction of duty and for not following the established protocols in food handling," Rao said in his mail, which on Friday he shared in social media. "All mess supervisors in the IIT Delhi hostels have been warned that they will be directly held responsible for all such incidents in the future," he added. A committee would be formed, Rao said, to see if the hostel mess work could be privatised. "The committee will...look into the privatisation of hostel messes and prepare a roadmap for the same. The committee will submit its report in the next two months," he wrote in the mail. On Tuesday morning, a student had found a dead rat in the "chutney" during breakfast in the mess of Aravali hostel of the campus. The incident led to a complaint to the administration which formed a committee to investigate the lapses. Besides addressing the mess incident, Rao referred to the issue of overcrowding in the hostels and informed students of the relief in the offing in the form of two new hostels, the construction of which will start in "next few months". "The contract for one new hostel for boys with a capacity of 900 students and another hostel for girls with a capacity of 326 students has been awarded to CPWD," he said.