Presidency University to open Hindu hostel after three years of renovation
The Presidency University on Monday announced that a portion of the over 130-year-old Hindu Hostel, under renovation for over three years sparking intermittent agitation by students, would be thrown open for borders within a week.
The announcement came after the state Public Works Department (PWD), which was undertaking the renovation work, gave clearance for two wards of the hostel, triggering jubilation among the borders. "We got the no-objection certificate from the PWD today for two wards of the hostel.
The students will be housed in those two wards within a week," Presidency Vice-Chancellor Anuradha Lohia told PTI. She said a welfare board having university officials and students is being formed to monitor the shifting and allotment of seats.
A senior official of the institute said no-objection certificates were also received from the fire brigade and other agencies for providing water supply, sanitation and power supply. Meanwhile, the students who had been on agitating for immediate accommodation in the hostel since August 3 erupted in joy after the announcement of the authorities.
"The boarders had been fighting over this for so long. We are happy with the development. The belongings of the borders are being taken to the new hostel," said Ujan, one of the agitating students. Around 66-67 boarders had been accommodated in a rented premises at New Town, which was quite far from the university, during the period of the renovation, would get seats in the two wards, Ujan said.
The more than 130-year old Hindu Hostel building located adjacent to the university was shut down for repairs in July 2015 and the borders were shifted to a rented accommodation at New Town. A section of the students have been protesting against the prolonged renovation of Hindu Hostel affecting the outstation students.
The students had held sit-in protests on the institute since August 3. The PWD had missed the November 15 deadline for hostel renovation, following which the students started a sit-in demonstration in the main building of the university. Earlier on October 12, the students had called off their 10-day-long hunger strike after authorities gave them a written assurance that they would be provided accommodation at the Hindu hostel by November 15 if the PWD gave the clearance.
The students' agitation over Hindu Hostel had also resulted in the shifting of the Convocation of the Presidency University from the College Street campus to Nandan, a state-run auditorium, on September 12. The university, the erstwhile Presidency College, observed its bi-centenary celebration in early 2017.
(With inputs from agencies.)