Published: 11th October 2018
Two NIT Uttarakhand hostelites get run over by car while on way to lab, students launch indefinite strike
The female student was walking on the national highway leading to the lab, she is in critical condition and could be paralysed for life
The students of the National Institute of Technology in Uttarakhand are enraged after two of their peers were run over by a car while they were walking to their labs on October 3. Since the campus is divided and is situated at two ends of the National Highway 58, the students are required to walk on the highly dangerous highway everyday. The students had brought attention to this risky situation several times in the past but neither the administration nor government authorities paid any heed.
On October 3, two undergraduate students Neelam Meena and Nupur Munda were on their way to the lab when a car crashed into them, Neelam continues to remain in a critical condition and risks permanent disability. Since the incident the students have been on an indefinite strike but this is not the first time the students have come out in such large numbers to protest. Last year, the indefinite protests had gotten attention from the MHRD as well but despite a statement directing the authorities to take action, there were no results.
Temporary Solutions: The campus was built to hold 400-500 students but now has the strength of 1200
In 2009, when the Institute was established, the government had alloted a plot in Sumari for a permanent campus. However, after a geotechnical study was conducted and the National Buildings Construction Corporation surveyed the area it was concluded that the land was prone to landslides and earthquakes. The authorities decided that the land was not safe for a campus and they had informed the students that the campus would be set up elsewhere, in a safer place. When
"We are forced to walk on the National Highway to get to our classes from our hostels, every single day we're risking our lives because everyone knows how rashly people drive on the highways. Now what we have feared for so long has finally happened. Our classmate almost died in that accident and now she could be paralysed for life," one of the students leading the protests said. In their memorandum, the students had already said that the location of their campus was so obscure that there were no facilities nearby, including hospitals. According to the students there wasn't a stretcher for Neelam and when the ambulance arrived they had no way of strapping her safely. Since there were no proper hospital anywhere close by to deal with a case like hers, Neelam had to be shifted again to AIMS Delhi.
Not Again: The students have been demanding a new campus for years now but after Neelam's accident they're refusing to back down this time
The "temporary" campus has existed for almost ten years now. It was initially built for a capacity of 400-500 students but currently the campus houses 1200 students. The students claim in their memorandum that the infrastructure on campus is not adequate for any sort of research work and even basic equipment is not available within a 100 km radius. Due to its location, students also said that a lot of industry experts, recruiters and renowned professors refuse to travel to the campus.
These issues have been brought up over and over again by the students but now after the accident, they are refusing to back down. The students say they truly fear for their lives and are not going to stop their protest until and unless, the government takes a firm stand and allots a new campus immediately. In their memorandum, the students mention that they want a written assurance within five days ordering the shifting of the temporary campus to plains near major cities like Haridwar, Dehradun and Rishikeshis. They also demand that the actual on ground shifting of the temporary campus to plains should take place within a month. The students are also demanding that Neelam's hospital bills be covered by University and government authorities