Presidency University students, who are agitating inside the varsity campus demanding immediate allotment of rooms at Eden Hindu Hostel, have refused to end their sit-in despite Vice Chancellor Anuradha Lohia apologising for the delay. The university administration had earlier set the deadline of August 1, 2018 to shift back the students in the hostel from temporary accommodation in New Town. As that dateline was missed, over 100 students, including 60 boarders, launched the sit-in on August 3 to protest the delay in completion of renovation. The renovation work at iconic Eden Hindu Hostel, which was established in 1886, started on July 2015 and has missed several deadlines so far.
"We are trying our best to complete the hostel renovation. I take responsibility for the delay. The day the PWD (Public Works Department) engineers give us a date on which the hostel is secured, we will accommodate the students," said Vice Chancellor Anuradha Lohia.
The students have been provided temporary accommodation in New Town, 15 km away from the campus. However, protesting students claim that most of their time got consumed while travelling to campus and back to the accommodation. Students are demanding that they be allowed to shift in the blocks where renovation work is near completion.
"We had waited for three years. It is not possible for us to wait indefinitely for getting berth in the new hostel," Ujan, a spokesman of the agitators and member of Independent Consolidation (IC) students union, said. Students have brought mattresses and pillows to settle on the campus. "For now this is our home. We will stay here till we are given back our old hostel," said on the protesting students.
"The PWD engineers have tentatively said that the hostel will be ready in the next four-five months, but I will not now make the mistake of giving a definite date," Lohia said.