The Vice-chancellor of Presidency University on Monday met the students who are on a sit-in-protest demanding that they be shifted to the ‘Hindu Hostel’, and apologised for the delay.
Around 100 students, including 60 boarders, had launched the protest Friday, over the administration’s failure to meet the August 1 deadline to shift them to the ‘Hindu Hostel’ from a temporary accommodation in New Town. By Monday evening, about 300 students have joined in the protest.
The students said that they have decided to turn the university campus into their hostel unless they get a written assurance from authorities that they will be shifted to the hostel.
“The authorities held talks with us and requested to lift our sit-in…They said that it would take another four to five months to make the hostel habitable for us. We held a general body meeting and it was decided that we will not return to our temporary accommodation and will continue to stay inside the campus. Boarders will sleep in corridors and use the university washrooms and will not leave the campus unless we get a written assurance from the authorities that we will be shifted to the hostel,” said Ayan Chakraborty- a third-year university student.
Vice-Chancellor Anuradha Lohia apologised to the students for the delay and said it would take another four to five months to complete the renovation work.
“In January we had given assurance that we will ready the hostel by July 15. However, the PWD officials had not started the renovation work then. It was my mistake that I had given a date without knowing the actual time period required to finish the job. After that we set up a co-ordination committee to look into the matter. I had also asked the PWD officials to work on a war footing without compromising the safety precautions to ensure that our students face no problems there,” Prof Lohia said.
“We allotted them temporary accommodation with all facilities. We also provided them free bus services from the hostel to university campus in College Street. We also provided them a meal at Rs 30 here… I will appeal to them to lift their protest and return to their present accommodation,” she added.