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Day 1: Panjab University fails to implement vehicle ban amid confusion

No clarity: Security guards say they were subjected to unnecessary questioning as many students, visitors and professors are unaware of the new rules, incidents of arguments were reported at three gates.

punjab Updated: Jun 02, 2018 13:39 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Panjab University,Day 1,vehicle ban
Security staff stopping outsiders’ and students’ cars without stickers from entering the campus at Gate No. 1 of Panjab University, Chandigarh, on Friday.(Anil Dayal/HT)

The eco-friendly initiative to turn Panjab University into a no vehicle zone failed on its first day of implementation as many students, visitors and professors were seen arguing with the guards due no clarity of rules.

Three years ago in a referendum, students had voted for a ban on four wheelers, which excluded the vehicles of faculty and staff members. The plan was to ban the entry of four wheelers of the first year students, visitors and outsiders and cabs.

Earlier this week, the campus was declared as no vehicle zone so as to create a student-friendly environment. Following it, wicket gates were installed. On Friday, many guards said people were visibly confused and argued as to why they are being stopped.

Narrating one such incident, a security guard said, “Few faculty members started arguing with us. They asked us how can we stop them.”

During a visit to the academic areas, it was found that vehicles were parked there as well. “Few students even started arguing and fighting with us over the matter of banning their entry. We cannot stop them at the wicket gates like this. The entry of their vehicles has to be restricted at the entry gates,” added the security guard.The guards were of the view that the partial ban, restricting the first year students only, cannot be implemented. “Students asked us why their entry was banned when so and so was allowed,” said the guard.

Panjab University vehicle ban: Is varsity looking at a bumpy ride ahead?

Incidents of heated arguments were reported at three out of five wicket gates.

While cars were being checked at the entry gates, students said the number of vehicles on campus were lesser than usual. At present, the varsity is short of security guards.

Chief of university security Ashwani Koul said, “For proper implementation of the ban, we need at least 500 security guards. The sanctioned posts are around 450, and currently we have nearly 300 security guards.”

Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) outgoing secretary Karanbir Randhawa said, “There are a lot of loopholes in the policy. The parking space will become a major issue in the coming days as over 14,000 vehicles enter the campus every day. The administration needs to solve the matter before conducting the entrance examinations.”

Registrar Colonel GS Chadha (retd) said, “People have doubts regarding who will be allowed. But overall, it received a positive response and people were adhering to the directions. The guards were able to direct people.”Meanwhile, a committee is working on a proposal for free cycles on campus.

First Published: Jun 02, 2018 13:39 IST