MP meets IIT-M Director over the closure of gate

A view of the closed gate of IIT at Gandhi Road side of Velachery. M. Karunakaran  

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam South Chennai MP Thamizhachi Thangapandian on Monday met IIT-Madras Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi over the unannounced closure of Krishna Gate that has met with opposition from a section of students and locals.

Talking to the students after the meeting, she said that she presented the concerns raised by both the sections.

Though the Director explained in detail the reasons behind the closure, particularly highlighting the safety of female students, she told the students that she was not convinced.

Stressing on the need to listen to the issues highlighted by the students, she told The Hindu that she suggested a joint meeting which she can also attend. “The Director, however, explained that he had already met the students through a townhall meeting and only a few students had issues,” she said. She will take up the issue further after consulting with the parliamentary party leader of DMK and the party’s president, she said.

The students had opposed the move, citing that it has caused significant inconvenience in terms of mobility and accessibility to facilities like photocopying shops and eateries outside the gate.

The gate remained the main access for a number of scholars and students residing near the gate outside the campus. Importantly, the students had condemned the unannounced and ‘secretive’ manner in which the closure was done on December 24 night.

Apart from loss of livelihood for the small businesses and inconvenience for students studying in schools inside the campus, the locals have claimed that the gate cannot be closed unilaterally by IIT since they were residing there for generations and access was promised during the acquisition of land for the institute.

Meanwhile, IIT management has strongly defended the decision by citing that it was posing a security risk, particularly for female students as there were incidents related to women’s safety. It has also highlighted the proposal to bring more women’s hostels near Krishna Gate, which may worsen the situation if the gate was left opened.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 3:22:55 AM |

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