In a major relief to 8,000-odd students, a weeklong deadlock between different student unions and the Punjabi University authorities over traffic regulation on the campus finally ended on Monday after the university inked a fresh pact with the protesters, keeping in view the concerns of all stakeholders.
Following this, the main gate of the university and the vice-chancellors office, which were locked by the protesting students, were opened.
As per the renewed pact, the university will move ahead with its earlier plan to divert cars owned by students, including hostellers and outsiders to the MBA IT block parking till the time it does not come up with a new parking lot near the university’s main entrance gate, which is expected by November 15, said the university authorities. This diversion plan will be made effective from Wednesday when the university will re-open after Tuesday’s public holiday.
Students will, however, continue to face inconvenience as the since entry to the MBA parking lot is allowed from university’s rear gate. The hostellers’ vehicles will also be parked there at night.
The university clinched the deal after it also agreed to restrict the entry of two-wheelers of day scholars, hostellers and outsiders.
University registrar Davinder Singh said from next semester starting January, two-wheelers of students would not be allowed on the campus and would be diverted to special parking zones, announcement of which would be made soon.
He said the entry of private mini-buses have also been banned on the campus. Instead, the university will run its own buses between departments and non-academic blocks to felicitate students. “The bus frequency will be good, especially near the parking zones, so the students don’t face any inconvenience,” added the registrar.
Besides, the in-house residents of the university, whether families of teaching or non-teaching staff, will use university’s rear gate for entry and exist, he added. The registrar said the new plan would be enforced effectively so the university does not earn notorious status for fatal accidents.
The traffic regulation was put into force following the recent death of two students involving vehicles on the campus.
After a group of students represented by the Democratic Student Organisation began protest in front of the V-C office last Monday, the university went ahead banning cars of students and outsiders inside the campus and diverts them to special parking zones.
However, their move was stalled after another group of 100-odd students, belonging to a coalition of nine student organisations, closed the university’s main gate demanding not to ban students’ cars.
Parmal Jeet Panjeta, one of those leading the protest at university’s gate, said: “We agreed to call off our strike after the university assured us to ban two-wheelers as well along with private buses. Now, we want better implementation of the plan.”
DSO’s Aman Bajeke, who sat in front of the V-C office, said the right sense had prevailed in the end. “The protest by students union in front of entrance gate was not justified. We are happy that things have sorted out. Our request is that the traffic plan should be implemented well,” he said
Sources said that sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Gurpal Singh Chahal along with superintendent of police (SP city) Daljeet Singh Rana’s intervention helped the university authorities to end the deadlock. It is learnt that police had chalked out a plan for a major crackdown on students, besides booking them in case the protest was not suspended by them. In a meeting with the area station house officer Puneet Singh, a warning was also issued to the protesters for peaceful resolution.
Revised traffic plan
-From Wednesday, vehicles of only teaching and non-teaching staff members and two-wheelers will be allowed from the university’s main gate
-Cars belonging to students, including that of hostellers as well as outsiders will be diverted to a parking area in the MBA IT block. The entry will only be allowed from the university’s rear gate (from the urban estate side)
-The parking will be shifted to the university’s main entrance gate once the new parking lot, having a capacity of 700 vehicles, will be ready, which is expected by November 15
-The movement of two-wheelers of students, hostellers and outsiders will be restricted from the next semester starting January. The parking zone for two-wheelers will be announced separately
-Private mini-buses banned on the campus. Instead the university will start its own bus service to ferry students and others to academic and non-academic blocks
-Speed breakers will be installed to check speeding
-The in-house residents of the campus, whether families of teaching or non-teaching staff, will use university’s rear gate for entry or exist