IIT-Bombay issues clarification, says it has not banned non-vegetarian food at campus eatery

The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) on Monday said there is no restriction on the sale of non-vegetarian food items at the popular eatery, Civil Cafe, on campus. This came after a few media reports claimed that the institute's Civil Engineering Department had banned meat and eggs from its cafeteria.

Representational image. Courtesy: News18

Representational image. Courtesy: News18

An IIT spokesperson said that the circular was issued since the caterer of Civil Cafe was serving stale food. A statement by IIT-Bombay published by The Times of India read, "There is no restriction on the sale of non-vegetarian items and the letter to the caterer of the cafe ('imposing' the ban) was in the context of serving stale food and to ensure that no cooking is allowed in the academic area. The pre-emptive action was in the interest of health and safety of the users."

It further said, "The institute does not favour any one preference or discriminate on such grounds."

The Civil Cafe is popular among students as it has an adjoining terrace. Students have alleged that it is an attempt by the management to impose the food culture of a small section of people on the entire student body.

The institute's administration, on 20 January, issued a circular to the caterer of Civil Cafe (a cafeteria atop Civil Engineering Department), stating that non-veg food was banned as "some people raised objections", reported The Indian Express. "Non-vegetarian items are strictly banned and should not be served," the circular read.

The caterer was also told not to cook on the terrace to prevent any fire hazard. "Since cooking on the terrace is not allowed, we did not want students to consume stale food. Non-veg food gets spoilt faster and therefore, we wanted to avoid it," a spokesperson of the institute was quoted as saying in The Times of India report.

IIT-Bombay had earlier courted controversy for asking students to use separate plates to eat non-vegetarian food at the mess of the residential hostel. The administration of hostel 11 of the institute reportedly sent an email dated 12 January, requesting non-vegetarians to use plates specially meant for non-vegetarian dishes, and not to use the main plates during dinner, Hindustan Times reported.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Feb 06, 2018 17:44 PM

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