GANGTOK, 30 Aug:
Hours after the State Cabinet Ministers met the Union Minister forHuman Resource Development over the issue of permanent campus for National Institute of Technology at Rabongla, South Sikkim, a retaining wall near the second year students’ hostel of the Institute collapsed this afternoon.
More than 800 students are enrolled in NIT which is running out of a temporary campus at Rabongla. Students of the institute have been sitting on a dharna protesting against the lack of proper infrastructure and facilities. They are also demanding a permanent campus.
When contacted District Collector, South, PrabhakarVerma informed that the incident has not been reported to the District Administration as of now but they are trying to find out what the situation is at present in the NIT hostel campus.
The DC further informed that senior officials from Rabongla Sub-Divison have been deployed to monitor the situation.
The agitated students told SummitTimes that infrastructural development of the Institute is very challenging due to heavy and continuous rain; the roofs and walls of many hostels, classrooms and laboratory building have mold and mildew problems.
NIT students have been raising their voice against the lack of infrastructure since 2012. A High Level Technical committee was also formed by MHRD to inspect the proposed land at Rabongla. In their report the committee made it clear that Rabongla is not at all fit for establishing a technical Institute like NIT. Land for the purpose of establishment of NIT College had then been allocated in Khamdong, East Sikkim, which was approved by the MHRD high level technical committee. However, the State Government declared the establishment of other state owned colleges at the location proposed for NIT.
Meanwhile the temporary campus at Rabongla is facing problems accommodating the rising number of students. The small town of Rabongla does not have enough private buildings to accommodate students while faculty members also find the location unsuitable. The latter has led to faculty members quitting their job adversely affecting the academics of students, it is informed.