JNU admin asks several canteen/dhaba owners to clear dues, leave premises by June 30
In a notice dated June 22 to several canteen owners, the university's Joint Registrar (Estate) MK Pachauri asked them to clear all outstanding dues within seven days of the issuance of the letter
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration has asked owners of at least 10 canteens and dhabas at the campus to clear their dues amounting to lakhs of rupees and vacate the varsity premises by June 30, alleging that their shops were allocated “without following due tender procedure”.
In a notice dated June 22 to several canteen owners, the university's Joint Registrar (Estate) MK Pachauri asked them to clear all the outstanding dues against them within seven days of the issuance of the letter.
The university said the person will be liable for eviction proceedings as per the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 if he fails to comply with the notice. “....is hereby directed to clear the outstanding dues against him with 7 days, from the date of issue of this letter with the direction that he has to VACATE the University premises by 30.06.2022," the notice read.
"Failure to comply with the above direction the named hereunder liable for eviction proceedings as per Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act 1971. Dues on account of rent, water and electricity charges, outstanding against the said space up to the date of vacation, should be cleared," stated the notice.
A shop owner, who has been running a pantry on the campus since 2014 and did not want to be named, said he has been provided with an outstanding bill of over Rs 20 lakh.
"According to the notice, we have to pay a bill of Rs 20 lakh and vacate the premises. They had also earlier served notices, but we had requested them for compensation as we only serve 'samosas' (snack) and tea. But there was no reply from the administration. Now, we have been provided with this notice," he said.
Another canteen owner, who runs a similar pantry and has been served a notice, said the administration is asking for more than Rs 10 lakh in dues. “How are we supposed to pay this amount when we sell only samosas, tea and bread pakoda? I have been running this shop since 2014 and now they give us this huge bill? We had asked them earlier also to give us monthly electricity bills or how else can we pay. We come from a poor economic background and its impossible to raise this kind of money,” lamented the shop owner, who did not want to be named.
Protesting against the move, the left-affiliated All India Students' Association (AISA) alleged the administration wants these canteen owners to vacate the premises as they are planning to bring big multinational companies to serve on the campus.
AISA president N Sai Balaji reiterated that before 2014, there was no policy for the allocation of shops. The shop owners were interviewed and the shops were allocated to them. The university framed a policy after 2014 and now is asking these people to pay in lakhs and suffer eviction, added Balaji.