National

Vice Chancellor sits on fast demanding shifting of shops from Visva Bharati University gate

The Vice Chancellor of Visva Bharati University Bidyut Chakraborty, accompanied by other officials, sat on a fast here on Monday demanding that more than 100 shops located near the gate of the university be shifted to some other place at the earliest.

Mr. Chakraborty accompanied by the officiating Registrar Sougata Chatterjee and many other department heads, sat on a 12-hour fast near the gate of the university.

Altogether 140 shops — selling items ranging from handicrafts to snacks — have encroached university land and are hampering a beautification drive of the Central university, associated with the name of Tagore, the VC said.

He urged the State government to make the stalls relocate to the alternative land earmarked by Visva Bharati authorities, as soon as possible.

Mr. Chakraborty, who took over the reins of Visva Bharati in October last year, said the presence of the shops resulted in the hallowed institution getting poor rank on beautification score in the last NAAC ranking.

“Though we have provided alternative land measuring around three acres for shifting of those stalls, the stall owners’ body are not showing any intent to shift to that place,” the VC said.

Stating that he had discussed the issue in detail with the Sriniketan-Santiniketan Development Auhority and local MLA Chandranath Sinha, the VC urged the West Bengal government to ensure that the stalls shift to the alternative land. The VC signed files and performed administrative work from the podium of the fast.

Refusing to shift to the new plot of land, a leader of the small traders’ body Aminul Huda said, “The alternative space is not suitable for doing business as it is a marshy land and need to be developed which will take time.”

Mr. Sinha, who is the State Fisheries minister, said the land was earmarked by the varsity very recently and is a marshy land. Moreover there are some disputes regarding status of the land and its boundary.

“We have to look in to the entire matter before taking any initiative and it will require some time to make ready any alternative land for the 140 shops,” he added.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 7:10:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vice-chancellor-sits-on-fast-demanding-shifting-of-shops-from-visva-bharati-university-gate/article28825645.ece

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