Published: 13th August 2019
Despite protests & letters, wall between Anna University and Madras University set in stone
MU also wrote that students who went to the AU playgrounds were 'manhandled by the Anna University authorities and the research scholars were also ordered to evacuate
Despite various representations and letters, Anna University and Madras University have gone ahead with their plan to build a wall separating the two campuses. There is now a wicket gate that connects the two campuses but the students are unhappy that their suggestions and requests were not taken into account by the administration. "We wrote to the administration saying that a wicket gate would hinder the movement of animals so we suggested a 6-10 m gate or bollards," a student said.
The students had been against the construction of a wall because Madras University students would not have access to the canteen, the library, the ATM and other facilities which are present on the other side. They were also very concerned about how the wall would restrict the movement of deer on campus. "We wanted at least a passage big enough for a fire engine to pass through in case there was an emergency situation. We simply were not happy with just having a wicket gate," a student said.
They also complained that after the construction of the wall, research scholars who went to the Anna University playgrounds were 'manhandled by the Anna University authorities and the research scholars were also ordered to evacuate'. So when the administration asked the students for suggestions, they wrote a letter on July 23. In their letter, signed by faculty and students, they said that the road between AC Tech and the department of Theoretical Physics, to access the facilities such as the post office, two banks, playground, hospital, laboratories in Anna University, is the only route to access facilities.
"We request you to consider two options — a 6 meter wide gate or bollards — a short post to prevent vehicles from entering the gate. We also request you to kindly get permission to allow MU students to play in the Anna University playground," the students wrote in their letter. They also fear that despite there being a wicket gate, there are chances that it could be locked up. "If there were bollards at least we would have been sure that there would be no full obstruction. Now we don't know," a student told us.
Is there a solution in sight? "The PwD is building the wall and now they are almost finished with it. There is nothing much the administration can do, now the other thing that can change things is if the government intervenes," said a Madras University student. He also adds that all the confusion over the wall started about 15-20 years ago. "There was a GO stating that there should be some sort of demarcation between the two Universities, they did not mean a wall. But the administrations thought there should be a wall," he explained.
The student goes on to explain that a few years later when neither of the Universities had a VC and the Education Secretary was in charge, the work on the wall was sped up. "So now there is nothing we can do unless the government itself steps in the stops the construction. We really hope they do because this wall has caused a lot of problems to students as well as animals on campus," he added.