The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Buddha-stirred VC takes metro to work

Calcutta, Oct. 3: The chief minister wanted to cut the government’s costs and among the first to rise to his call were officials of the Rabindra Bharati University, led by vice-chancellor Bharati Mukherjee.

The VC stopped using her government-allotted car from Tuesday. She takes the Metro to Shyambazar from her Bhowanipore residence and then a bus to the university.

“If the chief minister can travel by an ordinary air-conditioned coach to Malda to save public money, why not we try to make his attempt a success' I was inspired by his decision to avoid a luxurious lifestyle, particularly his recent journey to Malda,” Mukherjee reportedly said.

Registrar Santosh Kumar Ghorui and controller of examinations S.P. Achariya followed her by example.

The university will save about Rs 6 lakh every month, sources in its finance department said. Mukherjee became the first lady vice-chancellor of a state-run university when she took over from Subhankar Chakraborty on January 1.

As per university rules, a full-time car is allotted to the vice-chancellor. Mukherjee had been using it till September 30. “I am not using it any more and all my officers have also stopped using theirs,” Mukherjee said today.

Rabindra Bharati has two cars of its own and they are allotted to the vice-chancellor and the registrar. The university hired three others for the controller of examinations, the chief security officer and the public relations officer. None of them use the cars any more.

Senior university officials have also decided not to take this year’s puja advance. Out of 19 senior officers, only four have taken it. “We can’t blame the officers who have taken the advance. They were faced with unavoidable circumstances,” said an official.

The varsity officials often require vehicles to shuttle between its two campuses — at Jorasanko in central Calcutta and in Emareld Bower on B.T. Road. Both the vice-chancellor and the registrar have offices in the two premises.

Asked if their decision would affect the functioning of the institution, a senior official said: “We have prepared a plan to function smoothly from both offices. The vice-chancellor and the registrar will attend their offices on the B.T. Road campus during the first half of the day and in second, they will visit Jorasanko.”

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