Samaikyandhra activists prevent students and parents from entering the centres

Utter chaos prevailed at the Government Polytechnic and the Government Institute of Chemical Engineering here as hundreds of engineering aspirants and their parents waited in vain for the engineering counselling to begin on Monday.

The counselling could not be held as AP NGOs, lecturers and staff of the Government Polytechnic boycotted their duties and staged protest outside the colleges seeking postponement of the counselling process till the government came out with an announcement on keeping the State united.

The NGO leaders and activists and various JAC groups gathered at the counselling venues by 7 a.m. itself, i.e., two hours before the scheduled commencement of the counselling process, and squatted outside the gates preventing the movement of officials into the campuses.

Principal of the Government Polytechnic Sandhya Rani and some Heads of Departments managed to get into the college premises and the web counselling centre was opened initially. Students and their parents were not allowed into the centres and added to it the Polytechnic lecturers and employees going on strike compounded the problem. The web counselling centre was locked before long.

Many students came to the centres by autorickshaws and other modes of transport, facing untold hardship, as RTC buses were off the road. The candidates and their parents waiting outside on the National Highway were in a quandary whether to stay back or leave in the absence of any announcement from the Polytechnic officials on whether counselling was postponed. Around noon some candidates and their parents went home after they learnt that scrolls were appearing on TV channels that the counselling had been postponed. But, many stayed back not willing to take chances unless they heard from the Principal or some responsible official.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that there was no Internet connection at the college from Sunday evening itself and power supply was disrupted from Monday morning. The counselling at Polytechnic College Narsipatnam in the district was also disrupted as the NGO s staged protest and prevented the entry of students and their parents. “We have not received any information so far. Today, only ‘certificate verification’ should have been done and candidates have the option to get it done before August 30,” Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering K. N. S. Prakasa Rao said when contacted on Monday evening. “Around 600 candidates should have appeared for the counselling at the three centres in Visakhapatnam district today. Candidates need not worry as there was ample time for verification of certificates,” chairman of All Polytechnic Lecturers Association Chandrasekhar said. Some parents criticised the government for deciding to go ahead with the counselling at a time when employees were on strike.

More In: Visakhapatnam