The class representatives of the second-year students at IIEST have written to the institute’s director on Saturday, appealing to him to defer the start of offline classes as the institute is yet to accommodate 87 students in hostels.
In-person classes for the second-year students start on Monday.
The Telegraph called director Parthasarathi Chakrabarti several times and also sent him text messages on Sunday afternoon. None was answered.
The dean of students, Sudipta Mukhopadhyay, said: “We don’t have any plan to defer the start of offline classes from Monday for the second-year students.”
The representatives have written to the director: “The second-year undergraduate students received only 60 accommodations in the second list of hostels, and the distance cut-off for hostel (from the home) stands till 120km, keeping 87 students (66 boys and 21 girls) yet to be accommodated.”
They have mentioned in the letter that finding accommodation outside the campus, in Howrah’s Shibpur, is proving to be difficult because property owners and brokers are exploiting the situation.
“They (owners and brokers) are asking for an unrealistic amount of advanced money with a 11-month contract so they (students) can’t leave early…. We, the representatives of second-year students, unanimously request you to hold an urgent meeting and to postpone the offline reopening till an attainable solution is reached,” the letter says.
The accommodation issue has been raging ever since the residential institution told second-year students last Thursday that they would be accommodated in makeshift hostels, which lack network-dining-drinking water facilities, as hostel buildings are yet to be repaired.
IIEST officials said the hostels devoid of the facilities were staff quarters that had been turned into temporary accommodation for students.
The letter says the makeshift hostels, allotted to the 60 students on the second list, lack the basic necessities, although these students are paying the same amount as those staying in proper hostels.
“...just before the end-semester examination (in May), if the students invest their time to find and rent PG (accommodation), and shift to a new place just before the exam, it will also affect their flow of academics,” the letter says.
A second-year student said he failed to understand why the residential institute was insisting on bringing students to the campus without making proper arrangements for them to stay.
Dean Mukhopadhyay said: “We had said some students could not be accommodated in hostels immediately. They have to… arrange for PG accommodation. If they arrange a PG accommodation, they won’t have to pay the hostel dues (Rs 4,000) and mess dues (Rs 18,000).”