Mumbai: Degree colleges seek clarity on reopening classes to avoid wastage of sanitation funds

Degree colleges have appealed to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the University of Mumbai (MU) stating expenditure on sanitisation of classrooms, providing hand sanitisers and maintaining cleanliness on campus in view of reopening of offline lectures. Seeking clarity on the date of reopening, colleges said they have already spent money on initiating precautionary measures as offline lectures were supposed to reopen from February 15, 2021.

As part of Covid-19 preparedness, degree colleges said they spent funds on sanitising classrooms, staffroom, laboratories, corridors and restrooms. In addition, colleges also made arrangements to install hand sanitisers outside every classroom, sign boards to maintain social distancing and mandatory wearing of face masks.

Pooja Ramchandani, in-charge principal of HR College, Churchgate, said, "We have initiated all Covid-19 related safety protocols. We were ready to face the situation and tackle reopening of offline lectures on February 15. But now, we have to wait for a final direction from the BMC and University of Mumbai."

Non-teaching staff of degree colleges said they sanitised benches, desks and doors of each classroom preparing for reopening of offline lectures. Chirag Soni, a non-teaching staff of a Kurla college said, "Our team members of non-teaching staff were informed by the college head to sanitise and clean every classroom which had been shut since the last 10 months. We were informed to be extra cautious in terms of cleanliness as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus infection."

The principal of a Malad college said, "We have spent a fair amount of budget on sanitising and initiating precautionary measures for offline reopening of campuses. Now, we will have to do it all over again. The BMC and MU should provide some clarity regarding the date of offline reopening in order to avoid wastage of funds."

Currently, the BMC has stated that a decision regarding reopening of offline lectures in degree colleges and universities in Mumbai will be taken post February 22.

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