Students of Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College at Pattarai Perumbudur in Tiruvallur district are a disgruntled bunch, as there are no free bus passes or concession for their daily commute.
"We have not been given any free bus pass and the college has not taken any steps for concession even. While some bus conductors allow us after checking our ID cards, some say we are not eligible for bus pass and we have to pay," says V. Anitha, a student of LLB at the college.
She lives in Sunguvar Chathiram and there are not many buses that offer free travel to women to Tiruvallur. “From Tiruvallur, we have free buses to our college,” she says. She is forced to spend over ₹120 every day on bus fare. “When we ask them why we don’t get passes, conductors tell us only students from a list of 14 colleges in Chennai are eligible for bus passes,” she says.
Leela Devi M., another student pursuing LLB in the same college, has to commute from M.G.R. Nagar in Chennai to reach Pattarai Perumbudur. “We don’t get the free bus for women all the time so we end up paying most of the times,” he said. For boys, the daily commute is even more expensive.
No official appointed
To an RTI query, the college administration replied this month that no officer had been appointed for issuing free and concession passes for students. Despite repeated attempts, Law Minister S. Regupathy could not be reached for a comment.
A senior official in the Transport Department said: "Free passes facility are being extended only to students studying in ITIs and government colleges and government schools." The Director of Legal Studies said she would get back. She could not be contacted since then.
The law college, which was earlier located on the Madras High Court premises, has been shifted to two premises — Pattarai Perumbudur in Tiruvallur district and Pudhupakkam in Kancheepuram district, based on the recommendation of the Justice P. Shanmugam Commission of Inquiry and on the orders of the Madras High Court. In June 2018, the Law Department had requested the Director of Legal Studies to ensure necessary transport facilities.