Mumbai: The students of Mumbai University have expressed resentment as a portion of the varsity’s compound wall in Kalina has been demolished by BMC to allow parking space access to as many as five thousand cars of those attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public address at MMRDA grounds in Bandra Kurla complex on January 19, 2023.
Student groups are agitated as a portion of Mumbai University’s compound wall in Kalina has been demolished by BMC to allow parking space access to as many as five thousand cars that are expected to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public address today at MMRDA grounds in Bandra Kurla complex (BKC).
BMC's history with holding civic events at Kalina campus
The compound has been ploughed down to create a fourth gate for Mumbai University which leads to an open area present behind the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Contemporary Studies.
BMC sent a letter to the varsity on January 13 seeking cooperation for the same, while assuring that the broken wall will be rebuilt after the address. The BMC has not mentioned a time frame within which it would be completed.
The incident does not mark a first for MU as its Kalina campus has been utilised for civic events in the last few months too. Student groups hailing from the varsity had also written to the Governor back when members of the Chief Minister’s Dussehra rally parked their cars on the land allotted for MU’s International Research Centre for Ambedkar Studies on October 5. Following the rally, the students also shared images of alcohol bottles amongst the other garbage discarded on the campus.
“This has become a trend. The university also hosted tents to sell branding T-shirts during the Tata marathon which was held on January 15. Why is the varsity being utilised for non-educational activities so frequently? It’s not long before we see a ‘To-Let’ sign hanging above our campus,” said Pradeep Sawant, a senior official of Yuva Sena.
MU's Kalina campus has been used for such events previously too. |
'Trend of giving out land gone rampant,' say profs.
University will follow business as usual today, despite the massive gathering in the vicinity of the campus. Teachers at MU are worried about the impact these events might have on their classroom environments.
“I have been a part of this university since 1990 and only recently has the trend of giving out land gone rampant. The safety of all students and faculty members residing within MU is put at risk when hundreds are let into the campus unmonitored. Moreover, it disrupts the educational ecosystem that is present within the university,” said a research professor at the varsity, who didn't wish to be named.
What MU has to say
Commenting on the matter, the official spokesperson from the University said, "The compound wall has been demolished by the H-ward department of the municipal corporation for a few days, the BMC will rebuild the wall and no inconvenience will be caused to the university."
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)