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Over 300 first year (FE) engineering students of all streams of Vishwakarma Institute of Information Technology (VIIT) located in Kondhwa staged a vociferous protest against the college management for its delay in providing the necessary classroom infrastructure and campus security. Their main complaint is lack of drinking water, electricity supply, ceiling fans and well furnished classrooms, the absence of which was affecting their daily studies and mental makeup, they claimed. The college is spread over five acres of land, and is run by Bansilal Ramnath Agarwal Charitable Trust.
The students raised slogans urging the administration to attend to their demands. Under the banner of student’s council supported by about 700 students belonging to FE, they claimed that despite paying an annual fee of 1 lakh, including a development fee of 6,000 for the classroom. A visit to the college campus by Pune Mirror revealed that an approach road to the college campus was yet to be constructed and there were no streetlights along the stretch. The college building for FE students was under construction and students were seen carefully going up the ramp on wooden planks kept to cover the protruding iron rods for concretisation work. According to Neha Khaire, a student, the campus has been breached at a number of places and boys from nearby slums gain entry, especially in the evening. “This has totally eroded the campus privacy and affected our extracurricular activities. There have been cases of eve-teasing in the past. Who will guarantee our safety,” she said. Avanti Jayale, another student, said that the administration needs to take concrete steps to upgrade the infrastructure and ensure that the students were secure in the campus. College principal Prof. Bilavari Karkare admitted that there were protests and attributed the pending development works to paucity of funds. “The electricity cable work is in final stage and will be completed soon. Some trespassing did happen, but I don’t know exactly what happened. About 40 per cent of our fee is due from the social welfare department and we are totally dependent on the fee of students,” she said. Trust chairman Rajkumar Agarwal said that the development work had taken a backseat due to financial crunch. “We are yet to receive around 10 crore from the social welfare department. We have written several letters to the PMC to get the approach road work done but they have still not responded. We don’t have political influence to get the work done fast,” he said. Infrastructure was not up to the mark. Meanwhile, the college administration has decided to shift the FE classes to their seniors’ classrooms. However, the protesting students rejected the offer and maintained that the protests will continue next week too.
Courtesy: Times of India
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