Members of the Bharathiar University Teachers' Association (BHUTA) will go on a hunger strike on January 8 in front of the university, urging the government to withdraw the order allocating land for setting up Anna University of Technology-Coimbatore on Bharathiar University campus.

BHUTA and other associations of Bharathiar University have been protesting the government's decision to hand over the university's land ever since the G.O. allotting the land was issued on December 10 last year.

According to T. Muthukrishnan, secretary of BHUTA and syndicate member, the associations will form a Joint Action Council (JAC) to fight for the cause.

“A syndicate resolution was passed during the tenure of former Vice-Chancellor G. Thiruvasagam to the effect that the land can be given to the then Anna University-Coimbatore subject to certain conditions. But, the new G.O. has ignored these conditions and allotted the land to the university. This will have an adverse effect on Bharathiar University and its students,” Mr. Muthukrishnan told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

The conditions laid down said that the government should pay compensation (running to crores) to the original landowners. A case on this was on in court. Anna University should provide employment to them. The approach road to the university should be from Somayampalayam village and not Marudhamalai Road. Mr. Muthukrishnan said that the Association was perturbed at the fact that the land bought for setting up a university was being “sliced” for setting up another. He said that the land now belonged to Bharathiar University and Anna University of Technology should buy it. The former was only 28 years old and had many miles to go in terms of development. “Where will the space come from?” He opposed the claim that it was vacant land. Out of the 133 acres allotted, herbal plants were being cultivated on 55 acres. These were being grown as a result of a 10-year memorandum of understanding with the Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding. The MoU got over this year. The approach road would cut across groves of coconuts and sandalwood.