As MU students had warned, the attendees to PM Modi’s BKC event left the Kalina campus a ‘mess’; is this the new normal for us? ask the youngsters
The littered Kalina campus of Mumbai University on Friday
This, right here, is the sight that the Mumbai University students woke up to on Friday. Used water bottles, food packets and other plastics waste littered across the Kalina campus, which the BMC used for parking vehicles, on Thursday, of attendees to the BKC event of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who always bats for his ambitious Swachh Bharat mission.
Not just that, the mobile toilets stationed there a day before were parked right outside the Ambedkar Bhavan and near the helipad at MU campus, much to the astonishment of students and activists. Students, while speaking to mid-day on Wednesday, had warned that such a thing was highly likely post the event. The BMC had broken a part of the newly built compound boundary to make way for the vehicles. Students’ bodies and youth wings of political parties, including the Yuva Sena of Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, protested the “mess”.
Also Read: PM Modi’s Mumbai visit: With double-engine govt Maha back on path of development, says Fadnavis
‘The new normal, is it?’
“Should we prepare ourselves for this sight all the time now,” asked Ashish Dwivedi, a varsity alumnus and Mumbai president of Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti. He added, “The university has allowed temporary parking space as well as mobile toilets on the campus twice now [first was for CM Eknath Shinde’s Dussehra rally]. This time it was for the PM, who introduced Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to the people of India. Both the events have set a precedent for others too. Will the MU be able to deny permissions to others now?”
During Shinde’s event, the mess was much worse, points out Pradeep Sawant, former MU senate member from Yuva Sena. There were liquor bottles and cigarette butts, too, he said, adding that such a thing cannot go on. This is a university campus. The current situation is disrespectful to the sanctity of an educational institution,” Sawant added.
‘MU does nothing’
Santosh Gangurde, student activist and state chief organiser of Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena, said, “Despite having an autonomous status, the Mumbai University has done nothing to stop this or even set strict rules and conditions before giving out any space on the campus.”
The mobile toilets parked near the helipad
“They were providing space on the campus for shootings and now for temporary parking for attendees to political events. These ridiculous actions by the state government and even the BMC are lowering the standing of this esteemed educational institution. Still, no effort has been made to name a full-time vice-chancellor for the university,” Gangurde added.
The campus was cleaned by BMC workers only in the afternoon. The broken compound wall was secured merely with a few bamboo poles. BMC officials have assured to rebuild the broken portion, but have not said when. “The bottles, food packets, etc, were cleared, and there is no mess anymore. Even at the university level, we have ensured that our students are not inconvenienced at all,” said an MU official.