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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Honking haunts varsity
- Vehicles misuse road through RU campus, authorities nonchalant

Lack of concentration during class hours? Blame it on campus snarls.

The premier Ranchi University’s Morabadi premises is under severe traffic stress, with its road being (mis)treated as a bypass by vehicles big and small.

According to the law, every area surrounding an academic institution is a no-honking and no-smoking zone. But, this varsity is an exception. Rules are flagrantly violated every day, with bikes, cars and even heavy vehicles zipping through the campus their horns blaring.

The Morabadi campus houses the autonomous Ranchi College, some postgraduate departments, the MBA and journalism departments, applied sciences buildings, the central library and the knowledge centre among others.

In close proximity stand the residences of the deputy commissioner, the senior superintendent of police, top bureaucrats and politicians like JMM chief Shibu Soren. But, this audible mess has always fallen on deaf ears.

The menace is more than meets the eye, says Ranchi College principal A.N. Ojha. “The problem isn’t new as the passage through the campus has been wrongly considered a thoroughfare for years. The concern is that no one has ever taken note or raised a voice against it,” he said.

While speeding vehicles put life of students and teachers at risk, honking spoils the academic ambience. “We feel irritated when we take classes. As it is, we handle 70-80 students per class; the noise outside only adds to the chaos,” said a senior professor of the MBA department, not willing to be named.

Jha added: “Since our college is a part of the campus, the onus is on the varsity to take steps to ensure an ambience conducive to education.”

Shilpa Sinha, a first-year MBA student, said the RU could learn a lesson or two from cradles elsewhere in the country. “My sister studies at Delhi University. Whenever I visit her, I envy her campus. Life is so peaceful out there. And here, it is utter confusion. It seems like we are sitting in the middle of chaos street. We can’t concentrate,” she rued.

Urban residential colonies as well as slums in the vicinity are the main reason behind traffic pressure on the campus.

“The Hatma Basti is right behind the PG departments. Also, on the other side of Sidho-Kanhu Park are private flats. Everyone uses our road. Besides, whoever wants to go to Kanke and beyond, or come to Bariatu and Morabadi take this route, adding to our woes,” said Pramod Kumar, the co-ordinator of RU’s placement cell.

Varsity registrar A.K. Choudhary gave a blank look when asked about a solution to the teething problem. “We didn’t think of it so far, but will certainly look into the matter now,” he said.

How can peace be restored on RU’s Morabadi campus?