Chennai

IIT Madras students fear crowded mess could spread viral infection

Only one mess is functional currently and the timing is limited, say IIT-M students who are staying back.

Only one mess is functional currently and the timing is limited, say IIT-M students who are staying back.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

About 300 students chose to remain on campus to complete their lab and project work

Around 300 students who have chosen to stay on in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras campus are now saying they have begun to regret it.

The students, mostly in the final stages of their course work, remained on campus to complete their laboratory and project work.

They are upset that while the institution had shut to prevent spread of COVID-19 viral infection it was now forcing them to remain in groups, putting them at risk.

Students said only one mess was functional currently. “We are trying to stay wherever we are to avoid crowding. If we complain about it, we are being threatened with evacuation, which would be more critical,” said a student.

A letter was sent to the Dean of Students when the students were moved to Bhadra hostel. They had complained of lack of basic facilities such as drinking water and unclean rest rooms.

A student said some of them had stayed back as they had to travel long distances to get home. Some students said the rooms vacated by international students was provided to them but were worried that the rooms were not sanitised properly.

Though in a circular the institute said it had provided two-hour slot for each meal time, the students said they had to rush in order to use the instruments in laboratories.

“We have to borrow instruments from another lab. If we miss the slot, we have to wait for the instrument again for 3-4 months. That is why some students have to stay back. There are some labs in which we have sophisticated instruments also and have to run continuously so have to take care of that too,” he explained.

Students claimed that some caterers were willing to run the mess even if there were just 100 students but the institute did not allow it. “It would have reduced crowding,” a student said.

A spokesperson for the institute said only one mess was allowed to run and outside caterers were barred from entering for fear of spread of infection.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 2:36:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/iit-madras-students-fear-crowded-mess-could-spread-viral-infection/article31173667.ece

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