Published: 26th June 2019
Why students and deer are dismayed by the wall dividing Madras University and Anna University
The wall also affects the deer movement on campus and students' access to labs, playgrounds, banks and libraries
Since last year, students of Madras University and Anna University have been protesting against the wall that authorities were planning to build diving the two campuses. Despite their protests, today, there is a wall separating the two campuses and the students say this is affecting both their academics and their extracurricular activities.
The research scholars have written to both the Madras University VC and the Anna University VC and they were told then that a gate would be installed. However, students are dismayed because it now looks like there will only be a wicket gate. The students say that having only a wicket gate could prove dangerous because in case of emergencies they would not be able to get out of the campus. One of the students said that when a fire broke out in 2017, it was through the road that the wall is now blocking, that the fire engines came in. Blocking the road would mean that vehicles like the fire engine would not be able to enter the campus.
Currently, there is an opening in the wall that the students had been using but it had a metal structure placed in the middle. Several students had tripped over the rods and injured themselves after which the rods were removed. However, two days later, the opening had been blocked again, now students are demanding that the blocked route be opened again.
Broken Bridge: The connection between the two campuses could be permanently blocked off by the construction of the remainder of the wall
"Having the wall here means that we cannot access facilities such as the post office, the banks and the hospitals, research labs, playgrounds situated on the Anna University campus. Also, as part of our research work, we carry out our research projects in collaboration with the research laboratories of Anna University," a student said.
"Recently, VCs from across the country had visited our campus and discussed how in their time, they enjoyed the campuses of both CLRI and Anna University and how walls should not separate the student community. But that's what the administration is doing here," a student said.
Another issue that has come up because of the wall is its effect on the deer on both the campuses. The wall obstructs free movement of the deer on campus and it impacts their environment, the students say. Students say that a campus should have four gates but here, the campus only has three and two of them are close to each other, "In case there is an emergency, there should be more gates," a student pointed out.
The students recently protested against plans to close up the gap in the wall but were dismissed. "We want some higher official to intervene and ensure that there is at least a gate that is big enough to allow vehicular movements and allow the students to access all the facilities like we have been doing all these years," a student said.