Mumbai University's Language Building, despite allocating its second floor to the Pali Language Department in response to student protests in 2021, faces persistent space issues. To address this, infrastructural changes are now on the horizon.
The university initially promised to allocate the second floor to address the needs of the Pali Language Department, in response to student-led protests requesting sufficient space. Despite this allocation, concerns lingered, leading the institution to take additional actions.
In December, faculty members and engineers from the Pali department conducted a comprehensive survey to identify necessary modifications. Subsequently, the department officials submitted individualized requests for each room to the Deputy Registrar, awaiting the green light for implementation.
Professor Laxman Sonawane, a pivotal figure involved in the matter and an official representing the Pali Department, shed light on the forthcoming infrastructural changes within the building. "We're in discussions with engineers, planning a series of changes to optimize the space for our students," he remarked.
Describing the current state of the allocated floor, Sonawane stated, "The condition of the classrooms is unacceptable. To address this, we plan to merge every two classrooms by breaking down the dividing walls, creating larger functional spaces."
Expanding on the renovation blueprint, he revealed, "Besides refurbishing the classrooms, our plans encompass new washrooms, a library, a conference room, false ceilings, and various essential modifications."
Highlighting the significance of a dedicated library space, Sonawane noted, "Each department requires its own collection of books and research materials. Therefore, we've designated a room for a library accommodating 25-30 students at a time."
Acknowledging a potential budgetary hurdle, he commented, "Securing approval for our proposals might face obstacles due to the anticipated high costs involved."
Furthermore, Sonawane emphasized plans to upgrade water supply and cooler facilities for the students' benefit. "Improving these amenities is crucial for providing the best environment for our students," he added.
Addressing the ongoing space crunch, Sonawane disclosed, "Currently, we borrow auditoriums and classrooms from other departments for lectures, especially on weekends when student numbers surpass our available classrooms."
He elaborated, "On Sundays, our special lecture draws 100-150 students. We've also requested the auditorium within the language building to accommodate these larger sessions."