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Hostel good news for Utkal girls
Students of Utkal University at the post-graduate council office. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 29: Here’s some good news for girl students of Utkal University. Giving into the demands of irate students, the authorities have decided to begin the allotment process at the new ladies’ hostel from September 5.

The students had gheraoed the post-graduate council chairman’s office on Saturday demanding better facilities in the existing hostels and opening of the 100-seater ‘Ladies’ Hostel No VI’. With this, the total number of seats available at ladies’ hostels has gone up to 1,026.

Post-graduate council chairman, P.K. Sarkar, said the university authorities were aware of the problems of accommodation for girls and the allotment process had been delayed since the furniture for the rooms of the new hostel had not been procured yet.

“We have decided to start the hostel allotment process from September 5. We are doing our best to have the rooms furnished by then,” said Sarkar.

He added that renovation of the existing hostels was not a matter to be decided by the post-graduate council, and that the authorities concerned had been informed.

When they heard of the decision, girl students were seen heaving sighs of relief. “Although girls clearly outnumber boys on the campus, accommodation facilities are inadequate. The new hostel will solve this problem to some extent, at least,” said Mitali Mohapatra, a student of the university.

The students have, however, warned the authorities that they would intensify their agitation if they went back on their word.

“We have withdrawn protests after being assured by the authorities that they would take every possible step to address our grievances,” said Sangram Keshari Patra, another student.

Apart from hostel renovation and allotment of seats at the sixth ladies’ hostel, the demands of the students included proper functioning of the hostel mess and cleanliness on campus.

“After taking over as vice-chancellor in May, I held a meeting with the hostel wardens and superintendents and a proposal regarding the renovation of all the existing hostels was passed. However, we could not go ahead with it because of certain problems. Now, I have assured all the students, who are just like my children, that their demands will be taken care of,” said Prasant Kumar Sahoo, vice-chancellor of Utkal University.

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