To house more students, IIT-Bombay converts gym into dormitory
Students are unhappy with the decision as they feel the institute is taking away a recreational space that gives them a break from studies.Updated: Jun 21, 2018 11:42 IST
The never-ending search for space to accommodate students at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) is eating into the institute’s recreation space, with plans to convert gymnasiums, indoor sports rooms, yoga rooms into dormitories for students.
Students feel the institute is taking away recreational space that gives them a break from daily studies.
“In their rush to make more space for new students, the management has wilfully ignored the existing students’ rights with an unfair, irrational plan of the construction. We understand that IITs across the country are facing major space crunch, but the answer cannot come from compromising rights of existing students,” said a student and resident of hostel 14 at the IIT-B campus, which is currently facing infrastructural changes.
At present, IIT-Bombay has 6,615 rooms that can accommodate 8,007 students.
However, more than 9,600 students are living in the space and the institute is looking forward to welcome another 2,800 new students in the ongoing admissions process.
“Two new hostels are under construction out of which, one should be ready soon. Why then is the institute compromising our space,” said another student.
The proposal to use the current recreational space in hostel 14 of IIT-B was presented in mid-May and the same had to be changed after intervention from the IIT-B management.
“The original proposal was going to take over majority of the recreational space, which we didn’t allow. The second proposal was accepted and while the recreational space will reduce, students will still have their space,” said Soumyo Mukherji, student affairs, dean of the institute.
He said that hostel 17 and 18 with the capacity of over 1,000 rooms are currently under construction and that hostel 18 will be the first to be ready for use by April 2019.
“Until then, we have no choice, but to make arrangements for all staff and students and some compromises will have to be made,” he said.
After sending a letter to all department heads of the institute stating their problems and complaining about the noise they have to put up with, due to construction work, students are now planning to make their protest more vocal.
“If there is no solution to this problem soon, we will boycott the convocation and also participate in an indefinite hunger strike until death,” said a student.