The students in large numbers staged a massive protest over the dilapidated roads at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Thursday.
This issue has often been raised not only by the students but also by the faculty and farmers who visit the campus.
During the protest, the students moved around from place to place on the campus raising slogans against the authorities concerned. “If PAU can’t focus on basic facilities, what else can be expected from the institution. They are wasting funds on unwanted projects like Mughal gate for instance,” the protesters said.
According to them, the roads, mainly those around their hostel number 2,4,7 and 9, are lying ignored for the past 12 years. “During Kisan Melas and VIP visits, the university authorities get the potholes filled with stones and mud,” they said.
“The problem of potholes on roads has been increasing with the passage of time. Motorists, mainly those on two-wheelers, have a harrowing time on the campus as bikers often lose control on their vehicles. Mishaps do take place but the authorities concerned are least bothered even after this issue has been highlighted by the media. PAU estate officer must be questioned,” said a group of students while talking to HT, adding, “why can’t Punjab government stop wasting money on the state-level functions and send the money to PAU for its basic development?”
A student, who wished his name not be published, said, “PAU keeps installing CCTV cameras at hostels to keep an eye on the students but why can’t they recarpet roads.”
Earlier in the morning at around 9 am, the students tried blocking the road that leads to the residence of vice-chancellor Baldev Singh Dhillon but the latter reached his office through another route. The students too, who were desperate to meet him, reached in front of the office within minutes.
The protesters were not allowed to meet the V-C. After some time, PAU estate officer Vishavjit Singh Hans came out and assured the students that the potholes would be covered at the earliest.
Several attempts to establish contact with Hans failed.
Meanwhile, Employees Union of PAU that has been demonstrating against the university authorities to get filled vacant posts, continued their protest.