Despite a demand from students to abolish parking charges in colleges, the Savitribai Phule Pune University has decided to continue with the practice, though it has modified the parking charges to make it uniform across colleges.
Students can pay Rs 50, Rs 300 and Rs 500, as monthly, half-yearly or yearly charges respectively. No charges will be levied on bi-cycles.
The Management Council meeting of the university, in a meeting on Tuesday, accepted the report of a panel led by Ashok Chaskar, dean, on the parking issue.
Students from Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (BMCC), Abasaheb Garware College, Sir Parshuram among other colleges had in August protested against parking fee. They contended that educational institutes could not ask them to shell out money for parking vehicles as they receive grants for parking stands.
Following the protest, the university set up a panel under Chaskar and asked colleges and other stakeholders to submit feedback on parking charges, security of vehicle parked, condition of parking place and monthly and biannual passes issued to students.
Speaking with Newsline on Tuesday, Chaskar defended the move of continuing with parking charges.
“It is true that colleges are entitled to grants for raising the parking stand, but all colleges do not get get such aid. Several educational institutes do not have their own space for parking facility. Colleges spend money on appointing contractors, hiring parking space and carrying out maintenance. This has to be compensated for by a minimal fee for parking,” he said.
Chaskar said parking charges so far did not have uniformity and now it has been rationalised. The university received around 80 suggestions on the parking issue, he added.
Mohammad Saif, a student from Fergusson College said university Vice-Chancellor Wasudeo Gade had himself termed parking charges on campuses as “illegal’. “During our meeting with the V-C, he was considerate to our demand for abolishing parking charges. Despite this, the university decided to go ahead with parking charges. We hope the decision will at least benefit students of colleges where parking charges are very high,” he said.
A student, Sidharth Sharma said the university had ignored students’ interest. BMCC principal Chandrakant Rawal said parking is a need of students and colleges should resolve parking difficulties.
At present, charges at colleges range from Rs 2 to Rs 10 a day. Private contractors disown responsibility of vehicles parked. Facilities are lacking at parking stands. These were issues students raised during their agitation. University authorities say these concerns would be addressed. The new parking charges fixed by the university would be applicable to all 600 affiliated colleges.