Published: 04th August 2018
NIT Sikkim demand permanent campus they were promised 8 years ago, struggle for basic facilities
The students live in a remote city that is six hours away from the nearest railways station, they don't have medical facilities and lose out on recruiters
When NIT Sikkim was set up, the students were told that for the time being the institute would function from a temporary campus at Ravangla in South Sikkim. Ravangla is a remote town from where it takes six hours to reach the nearest railway station and the temperatures fall below 17 degrees. But the students did not mind. Eight years down the line, they've lost their patience.
The students have raised the issue with the administration several times in the past but no one has ever paid them any heed. Even protests fell on deaf ears but now the students say they have had enough - they want a permanent campus and will not make any more settlements. The students say that even basic facilities are lacking forcing students to travel all the way to NIT Guwahati just to use their labs.
"When NIT started eight years ago there were only 50 students, now we have 800 people but the facilities have not grown proportionally. We are operating from the same poorly maintained temporary campus," said one of the students. The students don't even have the opportunity of staying outside campus because there are simply not that many private building in the small town.
In tattered conditions: The NITians say they don't have any medical facility or markets close by
The rooms in the hostels are overcrowded and the students always have a water problem even though they face a lot of other problems due to heavy and incessant rains. "With heavy rain come hailstones, landslide, road blockage, uprooted trees, shooting stones on the measurable road. It rains 8-months a year and remaining 4-months its bitter cold. This place is simply not fit for an institute like this to function," the student said.
The NITians say they don't have any medical facility close by and even to go to the market close by the students have to rely on scheduled college buses. "The laboratory tests and experiments performed by students during the course do not get proper reading and results. Many costly laboratory equipments have been defected due to fungus and moisture, semiconductor devices are several defective too" said the students.
Another huge disadvantage that the students face is that because of how to cut off the town is, it is inconvenient for guest speakers, professors and trainers to make their way to the institute. Even their own faculty and their families allegedly do not stay prefer staying there due to the conditions.
Sorry state of affairs: Students face an accommodation problem where five of them have to share one room
It is a "nightmare" for recruiters and eminent personalities, he adds. The students say that even if the administration is taking action and trying to develop the infrastructure in the institute, it becomes almost impossible because of the heavy and continuous rains. The road blockages affect the supply of necessary goods as well. The roof and walls of the hostels, classrooms, and labs have mold problems and because of poor connectivity, the costs go up twice or thrice the regular rates.
From academic facilities to faculty to accommodation to basic amenities, the students at NIT Sikkim seem to be lacking in all ways. Which is why now, even after assurances from the director, the students are not backing down. "This is the worst place for a technical institution and it is very difficult to match the level of other institutes of national importance. So, the time has come for a permanent solution," the students wrote in a letter to their administration. The students have also written to the MHRD but have not received a single reply.
This is why after exhausting all their options, the students have resorted to a peaceful protest since July 25. They have refused to attend classes till the administration comes to a final decision regarding the permanent campus. "Attempts have been made by our seniors to sort out this issues but it has never worked so this time we are going to stand our ground till we get what we deserve," the students said. The Institution administration representatives were not available for a comment.