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JNU canteen, dhaba operators face eviction as varsity serves notice

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has sent eviction notices to canteen/dhaba owners on campus who haven’t paid bills since they started their business, it said in a statement.

The eviction notices were served as these owners did not respond to several notices that have been issued to them since 2019 with a request to clear the dues, the varsity said in a statement late Sunday evening.

“Notices have been issued to all those who have been occupying the space at various places including academic buildings in JNU. They have been doing the business without any due allotment. They continue to do business without payment of any license fees and other dues like electricity/water/conservancy charges,” Campus Development Committee Chairperson Sudhir Kumar said in the statement.

The statement said the decision to serve eviction notice was taken by the CDC in its January 17 meeting.

As reported by PTI on Sunday, the JNU administration had on June 22 served notices to operators of several canteens and dhabas located on campus to clear dues running up to lakhs of rupees and vacate the varsity premises by June 30.

The notice has sent the canteen operators into panic, who said they are too hard up to pay off the dues and, with eviction notice, risk losing their livelihood entirely.

JNU said it is committed to allotting the approved spaces/shops if the due process is followed.

A canteen operator, who has been served a notice, said the administration has served him with a bill of Rs 10 lakh outstanding in rent and electricity charge.

“I come from a poor economic background. My brother and I are the only earning members and our livelihood depends on this canteen. How can I pay Rs 10 lakh? They should have demanded monthly or annual dues,” said the canteen operator, who did not wish to be named.

“Even if we pay, there is no guarantee they will let us stay,” he said.

JNU Rector Ajay Dubey had earlier told PTI that canteen operators who have followed the “due procedure” will not be evicted.

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