Anti-social elements operating on a plot of land belonging to the Srimati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) University for girls are reportedly giving residents living on Maharshi Karve road a hard time. Residents alleged in the cover of darkness and absence of guards, the plot of land opposite the University was a happy hunting ground for illegal activities.
Nocturnal playground: The vacant plot of land owned by the SNDT
University. Pic/Ishan Ghosh
Sources said a plan to build a ladies hostel on the land, which is opposite the University on the Law College road, had been stalled for more than three years as the University was still deciding over it. The University has currently constructed a one-floor edifice on this plot that holds part-time vocational and professional courses in youth and development work, travel and tourism, among others. Residents said though the University diligently deploys guards to man the gate during the day, the guards are not found after 10 pm.
"Besides commercial sex workers (CSW) who operate there, we find lots of eve teasers who create mischief and disappear behind the walls of the ground as there are no security guards to stop them," said a resident requesting anonymity.
Ketan T, a businessman, said the place was full of mischief makers. "Last week when I stopped to withdraw money from an ATM opposite the ground, some mischief mongers punctured the tyres of my scooter and disappeared somewhere in the ground as its gates were unlocked," said Ketan.
The residents and other locals have decided to discuss the matter with the University authorities. Sushama Keskar, principal in charge of SNDT University, said the decision was yet to be taken on the ladies hostel. "The decision for building a ladies hostel on that plot of land will be taken up by the head office of the University in Mumbai," said Keskar.
"It is not possible for CSWs to conduct business near the ground as we have deployed guards who monitor the place round-the-clock. The ground is fenced off by the authorities, so there is no question of anybody entering or doing any mischief there."
The duty officer at Kothrud police station said: "If such anti-social elements are found we take action against them. We have intensified our night patrolling and have hardly found any such elements. We'll see what can be done about it."
Earlier, the SNDT University was in the news earlier after a few students complained about the growing nuisance of outsiders who indulged in eve teasing during evening hours within and outside the campus, even though the University officials had imposed a ban on strangers entering the premises without permission.