Chunks of concrete came off the ceiling at a hostel on the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) campus on Thursday afternoon and crashed on the bed of a fourth-year student, who had a lucky escape as he was away attending classes.
The incident happened around 3pm at the Wolfenden Hall of Residence in an almost identical fashion to what had happened at hostel number 11 on Sunday.
The fourth-year student entered his second-floor room only to find the bed and the floor littered with broken pieces of concrete, said a resident of the hostel.
The student said the rooms on the ground floor of the hostel have already become unlivable owing to cracks in the ceiling and Wednesday’s incident showed that those on the second floor, too, are no longer safe.
“It’s sheer luck that the student was not present in the room at that moment. After the chunks came off, the hostel authorities sent some men to take stock of the situation and start repairs. Why did they wait for an incident like this to happen to start repairs,” the student said.
Patchwork repairs started in room number 408 of hostel number 11 on Monday, a day after concrete chunks crashed on the laptop and mobile phone of a third-year student of civil engineering and missed his head by a whisker.
Another student said repairs were yet to start on the ground floor of the Wolfenden hall though the authorities carried out an inspection almost a month ago.
“We fail to figure out why repairs were not undertaken when the students were away from the campus for over two years because of Covid. We are feeling unsafe now because of an incompetent administration,” the student said.
The superintendent of the Wolfenden hostel, Bhaskar Dey, declined comment. Calls and text messages to the institute’s chief warden, Sudipta Mukhopadhyay, and director Parthsarathi Chakrabarti went unanswered.
Over 100 students from hostel No. 11 had rushed to the IIEST director’s bungalow on the Shibpur campus in the dead of the night to air their grievances over the poor upkeep and accused him of negligence.
Complaints about hostels are regularly reported from the IIEST, a residential institute.
On June 14, rooms on the fourth floor of hostel No. 9 were flooded as water leaked from the room during a downpour.
“I wonder whether really good students will come to the institute any more,” a teacher said.