West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee today urged the agitating students of the Presidency University to call off their sit-in which entered the fourth day, and said work for renovation of the old hostel building should have been completed on time. The students have been holding an indefinite sit-in inside the campus demanding that they be alloted rooms in the Hindu Hostel, which is under renovation since 2015. Had the renovation work of the hostel building been completed on time, the situation might not have come to such a pass, Chatterjee told reporters.
The Hindu Hostel, adjoining the College Street institution, had been shut down for repairs on July 29, 2015 and 150 boarders were shifted to a rented accommodation at New Town, which is around 18 km from the university. The Presidency authorities had last year assured the students that all the six blocks of the hostel would be opened for the boarders after completion of renovation work by the first week of August.
Chatterjee expressed hope that the students would call off their agitation saying it is not helping the university gain reputation. “In the given circumstances I hope the renovation work (of Hindu Hostel) by the PWD is completed at the earliest and the boarders shifted there,” he said.
Vice Chancellor Anuradha Lohia yesterday met the agitating boarders and said every effort was being made to complete the renovation work at the earliest but the state PWD has informed the authorities that it would take more five months to complete the work. Ujan, a spokesman of the agitators and member of Independent Consolidation (IC) students’ union, said the students will not withdraw the stir till getting accommodation in the Hindu Hostel.
The students had been protesting in the corridor outside the registrars office since 2 pm on August 3.