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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Why has Panjab University’s no-vehicle policy gone off track?

Miles to go: Authorities say lack of manpower a major factor in the delay as numbers of vehicles increase on campus.

punjab Updated: Apr 28, 2018 14:33 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
A PU report registered the entry of 9,784 cars on campus on a particular day in 2014.
A PU report registered the entry of 9,784 cars on campus on a particular day in 2014. (HT File )

Panjab University (PU) authorities have failed to implement a no-vehicle policy on campus even though a referendum was held three years back to take feedback from students on the matter. It was to be put into effect from the 2017-18 session.

Lack of manpower has been a factor, among other things, in the delay, authorities say. Nearly 10,000 cars drive into the university every day through its three gates. An in-house report registered the entry of 9,784 cars on campus on a particular day in 2014 between 8 am to 5 pm.

Haphazardly parked vehicles on campus also add to the traffic congestion.

The hurdles

According to PU registrar Col GS Chadha (retd), till the existing hurdles are removed “it will be difficult to implement the policy.” If a vehicle-free campus has to be planned, the varsity “needs more security personnel to execute the plan. There is a lack of security staff and according to the guidelines of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), we cannot hire more staff,” he adds.

At present, the university requires 190 security personnel and the matter of outsourcing them is in the Syndicate for discussions. It is likely to be taken up on April 29.

Earlier PU authorities had also planned to run e-rickshaws, free shuttle buses and bicycles on sharing basis, but apart from the e-rickshaws on north campus, Sector 14, no other vehicles were put to use.

“A stock holding company has given the university Rs 12 lakh for purchasing bicycles. But still there are concerns by some parties on how safe the bicycles will be on campus,” says Chadha.

In case the policy is implemented, first year students will not be able to bring four wheelers to the university while some areas such as academic area and administrative block, will be no-vehicle zones.

All the students driving vehicles and their passengers will have to carry their ID cards to show at the gates. Separate entry stickers will be issued to all students, faculty and staff. Wicket gates will be installed for security personnel to check ID Cards. Disabled persons will be issued passes.

Students voted for banning four wheelers

During the 2015 PU student elections, a majority of students had voted to ban four-wheelers in academic zones on the Sector 14 and Sector 25 campuses.

About 3,315 students (53.2%) had voted in favour of the ban for the Sector 14 campus, 2,916 (46.2%) were against it. For the Sector-25 campus, as many as 3,200 students (51.3%) had voted in favour of the ban, 3,034 (48.7%) were against it.

First Published: Apr 28, 2018 14:32 IST

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