It has been almost a year and a half since the distribution of free laptops – a pre-poll promise of the ruling AIADMK – began, but most students studying in the constituent engineering colleges of Anna University are yet to receive them.
On Friday, several students of the College of Engineering Guindy and Alagappa College of Technology protested on the university campus, demanding the laptops.
The protesting students, most of whom are in the final year of various disciplines, shouted slogans condemning the delay.
Later, they met the Vice-Chancellor as well as Mayor Saidai Duraisamy, who had come to distribute laptops to third year students of the university.
“We are in the final year, and in three months, we will be out of college. We have been waiting for the laptops from almost two years now,” said a student.
Last week, nearly 1,000 laptops arrived at Anna University to be given to third year students.
“The laptops will be very useful to these students as they have just started preparing for placements. So it has been decided to give them first,” said P. Kaliraj, Vice-Chancellor (officiating), Anna University.
“We have assured the final year students that they will receive the laptops soon and that they need not worry,” he added.
Sources, however, said the delay is also because manufacturers had been facing a shortage of material, particularly after floods in Thailand. “The payment has been done. We are just waiting for the supply. We can despatch the laptops immediately after quality control,” said an official source.