regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

Students of North Bengal University demand authorities to consider commutation time while alloting hostel seats

NBU has 10 hostels — six for girls and four for boys — which accommodate around 1,100 students

Binita Paul Siliguri Published 10.05.24, 10:17 AM
North Bengal University

North Bengal University File picture

Students from the hills who are pursuing post-graduation or other courses at the North Bengal University (NBU) here have demanded that the authorities consider the time it takes for a student to travel to the varsity from home while allotting hostel seats.

Often, students in the hills find it tough to get varsity hostel accommodation as the distance from their homes to the NBU is short. However, hilly terrain makes the commute tough and time-consuming.


“Our commuting difficulties cannot be grasped by taking into account the distance from our home to the varsity. Only considering kilometres isn’t enough. But at NBU, the authorities allot accommodation to a student based on the distance from the varsity to his or her home. This poses a problem for hill students like us,” said Muskan Chettri, who is doing post-graduation in Nepali.

Muskan, a second-semester student, said she is yet to get an accommodation in any of the six girls’ hostels.

“Unlike other students, who are from the plains and different districts of north Bengal, the distance to our homes is short,” she said. “We want varsity authorities to understand the problems of daily commute on the hilly terrain and the time it takes,” she said. “Giving hostel seats to students from the hills is a practical need.”

NBU has 10 hostels — six for girls and four for boys — which accommodate around 1,100 students.

Abhisek Rai, the general secretary of the Hills Students Association of North Bengal University, an apolitical organisation for hill students, said varsity authorities should reserve some of the hostel seats for the hill students.

He pointed out that it takes three hours from NBU to reach Darjeeling by public transport where the distance is only 80km. On the other hand, a student travels 190km from NBU to Cooch Behar, but in the same time.

“Still, most students from the hills do not get hostel accommodation, even though around 50 per cent of the students at NBU are from the hills,” said Rai.

Rai said that a few days back, they had submitted a memorandum to authorities seeking a solution to the problem.

“Instead of checking the distance only on Google maps, they should also consider the time. There are instances that students have dropped their studies for not getting hostel accommodation,” he said.

In NBU, a student has to spend around Rs 2,000 to stay in the hostel. “Even a basic paying guest accommodation near the varsity costs at least Rs 5,000,” said a student from Kalimpong.

NBU authorities said they were looking into the issue. “Distance is the parameter considered before granting hostel accommodation. If any change has to be done, it has to be done through consultation at the appropriate forum of the varsity. We are aware of the issue,” said an official.

Design exhibition

A two-day design exhibition will be held at the Inspiria Knowledge Campus in Siliguri from Friday.

Inspiria Design Exhibition 2024 will be hosted by the School of Media and Design, Inspiria.

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