A teachers’ association at the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur, has written to the institute’s director informing him that “the majority of existing hostels need extensive renovations”.
Chunks of concrete came off the ceiling at a hostel on the IIEST campus on August 25 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 August 21.
The letter signed by Tapendu Mandal, secretary of the teachers’ association, said the recent mishaps and the resultant discontent among students could have been averted “if efforts had been taken on time to secure the students’ safety”.
“The recurrence of the mishaps has left the teachers deeply concerned. As a sensitive organisation, IIEST-Shibpur should take immediate affirmative steps to arrange proper accommodation for all its students.
The students have reasons to feel aggrieved and their concerns must be addressed,” Mandal told The Telegraph.
Over 100 students at hostel 11 had rushed to the IIEST director’s bungalow in the dead of the night on August 21 to air their grievances after a chunk of concrete came off the ceiling at the hostel, crashing on the laptop and mobile phone of a third-year student of civil engineering and missing his head by a whisker.
Achyut Ghosh, a former student, said “such a deplorable condition of the hostels would drive away prospective good students”.
“We raised our concerns in our communication with the director. But nothing has happened,” said Ghosh.
Repeated calls and text messages to the institute’s director went unanswered.
“The rooms of the hostels were locked for about two years. After the hostels reopened, renovation work started gradually,” the dean of students’ welfare, Sudipta Mukhopadhyay, also chief hostel warden, said.