The security department of Mumbai University has written to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), asking them to clear the ‘encroachment’ outside the university’s main entrance of the Vidyanagri campus at Kalina. The university’s security department, however, alleged that the shops outside the main entrance were temporarily shifted by BMC during a road widening project in 2000, and they continue to exist there, 14 years later. The security department has further claimed that the purpose for which the land was given, that is road widening, never took place.
“The shops, which were temporarily shifted outside the university’s main entrance, still exist there even after 14 years. These shops and stalls have permanently encroached the footpath outside the university’s main entrance and spread nuisance there. However, the road widening work for which the university handed over the land to BMC never took place. The encroachment is hampering the reputation of the university’s Kalina campus, which is often visited by national and international delegates,” said a senior official of security department.
The university has been grappling with the issue of encroachment and trespassing at both its entrances for over a decade now. The security department had even written to university officials last year, reporting trespassing by drug addicts from the rear gate of the campus at nights.
Spread over 253 acres, the Kalina campus houses various departments, four hostels, of which, three are for girls and even the vice-chancellor’s residence.
When contacted, university pro-vice chancellor Dr Naresh Chandra and registrar M A Khan said that they were unaware about the matter.
The university spokesperson, however, said that the university is looking into campus beautification and these encroached shops are a hindrance to that. “Now that the matter has been pursued by the security department, the university too will take up the matter with the BMC commissioner,” said the spokesperson.
Mumbai University’s senate member Sanjay Vairal said this issue should have been pursued by the university long ago. “Because university authorities neglected the matter, the temporarily shifted shops managed to occupy the space permanently. I blame university authorities for this mess.”