Mumbai: Students and faculty members of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, are up in arms as the collector's office has taken over several buildings on the campus as designated quarantine facilities for all flyers falling under the C-category (those without symptoms).
Both students and the IIT Bombay administration have opposed the direction, claiming it to be a 'high risk' move, as there are over 15,000 students and faculty members living on campus.
On Thursday, students were notified of the decision through an email stating, "By an executive order, the collector has taken over several buildings on the campus as a designated quarantine for all flyers (C-category: that is, those without symptoms) coming into the city from various international destinations. The designated buildings are Vanvihar Guest house, H-18, the well maintained part of H-8 (B-wing), and the MTNL guest rooms."
Authorities of the IIT Bombay administration revealed they have opposed the direction, as it will put the health and safety of students and faculty members at risk.
An official of IIT Bombay, on request of anonymity, said, "It is a forceful direction as we have over 15,000 students and faculty members on campus.
The collector has asked for 180 rooms and one entire floor in the H-18 building. But there are students living on the remaining floors. These buildings are not entirely empty.
What is the guarantee that our folks will not get infected or affected with these international flyers accommodated in the same building?"
IIT Bombay authorities also said there was a lack of clarity on the decision as no time period had been specified, nor were any information pamphlets circulated, and no safety measures were initiated.
An official managing student affairs at IIT Bombay said, "We do not know who they are going to quarantine. We have no information on how long they are going to stay here. As a government institute, we cannot say "no" even if we want to; but this is a high risk situation for our students and faculty."
Students are scared as they do not know where to go. Amit Vora, a student, said, "We are on campus because we have nowhere to go. Now, I do not know where they will shift us. What about our safety?"
Some students also said they felt it was a planned move, and that IIT Bombay was aware in advance of the quarantine directive. A student leader said, "The institute forced us to vacate campus within two to three days.
They knew this direction was coming, so they evacuated students immediately in order to make space for quarantine facilities. It was all planned."