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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

4 years on, Mumbai varsity sub-centre at Thane still has teething troubles

It’s been four years since the campus opened, but there has been no change in infrastructure

mumbai Updated: Apr 27, 2018 00:21 IST
Ankita G Menon
Ankita G Menon
Hindustan Times
Mumbai varsity’s sub centre at Balkum in Thane.
Mumbai varsity’s sub centre at Balkum in Thane. (Praful Gangurde)

For the past two years, Prarthana Shetty has been travelling from Bhandup to the Thane campus of the University of Mumbai. After alighting from a local train, she has to take a bus to the campus at Balkum.

The 8-km drive from the station to the sub-centre, where she is a student of integrated law course, takes almost 40 minutes due to the heavy traffic. Lack of proper approach road compels buses to halt at the main road.

Shetty just like 350 other students has to walk for another 20 minutes through residential complexes to reach the campus.

It’s been four years since the campus opened but there has been no change in infrastructure. “It is difficult for us to find an auto or bus to reach the campus,” added Shetty, a second year law student.

More than 2 lakh students were supposed to benefit from the two sub-centres but the university’s lackadaisical attitude has put them in a lurch.

It has been 18 long years since the proposal for the two sub-centres in Thane and Kalyan was mooted.

In 2011, the Thane sub-centre was inaugurated but it only had the administrative office then.

When the campus opened in 2014, students thought transport would improve eventually.

Repeated requests from students for better transport have fallen on deaf ears.

“Every year, we are promised better transport facilities. I am in my final year now and nothing has changed,” said Srikanth Patil, a law student.

The university sub-centre offers an integrated management courses. “Most of our students are from Thane but initially our batches had students from outside the state too,” said Rajshree Pandit, coordinator at the Thane centre for Mumbai University.

“We have a five-year integrated management and law programme that includes dual specialisation MBA along with law and MBA along with BMS. We also have students from the University’s distance learning course who visit our centre to collect their books. The students often find it difficult to reach the campus,” said Pandit.

The campus is also grappling with other maintenance problems.

Mahadev Jagtap, senate member of University of Mumbai, said, “The maintenance is poor. There is no housekeeping or cleaning staff at the Thane campus for almost four months.”

He added that the campus has to get the university’s approval for every work.

“After the contract of the cleaning staff ended, there has not been a replacement and the university has not responded to letters. The classroom for distance learning books does not have any racks and hence all the books are strewn on the floor,” said Jagtap.

The university charges Rs50,000 per student a year for the courses. Students who are a part of the Mumbai University’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning often visit the Thane campus for collecting books. “The books are often seen lying on the floor. The university has not taken any measure to improve conditions,” said Pratik Dubey, student from Shahapur.

The university plans to build a hostel.

“Rs10crore was sanctioned for the hostel on the campus. However, the plot surrounding the two-storey campus has not been maintained and those from the nearby slums often throw garbage into the Thane campus compound. Despite repeated complaints, the university is not taking any major action,” said Jagtap.

First Published: Apr 27, 2018 00:21 IST

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