The students’ organisations of Panjab University have complained to the authorities that they were being harassed under the vehicle-free policy that began on the campus on June 1. The vehicle-free policy, three years in the making, is aimed at restricting four-wheelers, belonging to students and outsiders, inside the academic area and decongestion.
The students have said there is no clarity on the guidelines of the ban on four-wheelers inside the academic area. A majority of them has demanded that the ban should cover teaching and non-teaching employees as well.
The academic area is limited to the teaching departments of the university. This area has five wicket gates where security personnel are deployed to check the identity of entrants.
As per the policy, students with four-wheelers bearing an official university sticker are allowed inside the academic area. Those who do not have a university sticker can show identity card at the wicket gates. However, this rule will not apply once the new session starts and all the old students are issued the stickers.
But students have said lack of official university stickers has made it difficult for them to enter the academic area.
The university authorities have said once the new stickers are issued to the students in the new session, they will not face any trouble accessing the academic area.
“Stickers will be issued to only old students in the new session. The plan is underway and will take some time to be implemented as they have to be circulated in all the departments,” a university official has said. The official has added that the stickers are mandatory for two-wheelers too. However, new students will not get stickers and are not allowed to get four-wheelers on the campus.
Outsiders, entering the campus from gates 1 and 2, will be asked to park at the gates and can use e-rickshaws or shuttle buses to enter the academic area. Visitors, who want to access the university’s public facilities such as swimming pool, will be allowed to enter the campus from gate 3. For seminars and other functions at the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) or the Golden Jubilee Hall, public can gain entry from gate 3.
“These buildings or facilities do not come under the academic area, so they can be accessed by outsiders from gate 3. For seminars and other events, we will be providing lists to the security personnel at gate 3, so that the visitors are not harassed,” the official has added.
Prof Ashwani Koul, Chief of University Security, has said the policy will take time to be fully implemented and that its phase-wise implementation is the need of the hour.
“For visitors to the campus who want to go to the swimming pool or residential area, we’re planning to issue temporary passes, but that will take time as these things have to be approved by a committee. Meanwhile, we cannot stop visitors who want to go to the residential area, so we’re checking them thoroughly at gate 3,” he has added.
According to information, at least 10,000 cars drive through the campus gates of the PU daily.