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Heavy Rainfall Exposes Infrastructure Failures in Premier Institutes

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Recent heavy rainfall in the capital on June 28 has exposed severe infrastructural issues, particularly at the Arts Faculty, where the reading room experienced significant water leakages and short circuits. Additionally, other esteemed educational institutes like IIT Delhi and AIIMS Delhi are also witnessing an equally miserable fate.

As Delhi University continues its yearly ritual of exorbitant fee hikes—110% in PhD courses and 40% in annual postgraduate courses—it is important to note that the condition in which DU students have to study remains deplorable. These problems clearly reflect the university’s incompetence and disregard for student safety.

The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) DU’s Instagram page, @sfiduspeaks, posted a reel highlighting the miserable state of one of India’s premier institutions. Captioned “Save Public Education! Save Delhi University! Fee Must Fall!”, the post called for immediate action from the university to address these infrastructural issues. SFI Vijay Nagar has also demanded urgent measures to fix these problems and ensure student safety, noting that the lack of basic amenities like air conditioning in classrooms becomes unbearable when temperatures in Delhi soar to 48 degrees Celsius. The third building, made with makeshift materials like tin roofs and asbestos-lined walls, exacerbates the heat issue, creating an uninhabitable learning environment.

Simran, from SFI DU, in a conversation with DU Beat, said, “Since there is no maintenance in these reading rooms at Arts Faculty, due to heavy rain, the ceiling started to leak and then a short circuit happened, and soon fire also occurred out of nowhere. The main problem is that despite increasing fees they are not improving infrastructure and maintenance at all.”

Additionally, a press release by SFI Delhi University, dated June 27, 2024, highlighted student protests against the fee hikes in postgraduate courses. Students criticized the apathetic Delhi University administration and the ABVP-led Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) for their silence on the rising education costs. It showcased how fee hikes place a heavy financial burden on students, undermining the principles of publicly funded education and limiting opportunities. Despite the fee hikes in previous academic years, there has been no corresponding improvement in infrastructure. Students of the well-known Law Faculty often find their campus without even a single functioning water cooler, all while bearing Delhi’s scorching heat.

In addition to Delhi University, other premier institutes in Delhi have also been severely affected by the heavy rainfall. AIIMS Delhi experienced similar issues with severe water leakage on June 28, highlighting the widespread infrastructural problems across top educational institutions in the city.

At IIT Delhi, a viral video showed a pillar collapsing in the placement cell building following the heavy rainfall. This incident led to the disconnection of electricity in some areas for safety reasons. An official email from the Institute Engineer detailed the flooding on campus and stated that maintenance teams are working to restore services. The email requested cooperation from the campus community and apologized for the inconvenience.

These incidents at Delhi University, AIIMS Delhi, and IIT Delhi highlight the urgent need for infrastructural changes and better maintenance protocols, it’s indeed high time that these educational institutes make upgrades to ensure the safety and well-being of their student body, who have come from faraway places in the country to study in “premier institutes” in the capital. Despite significant fee hikes, these institutions have failed to invest adequately in their infrastructure, leading to dangerous and unacceptable learning conditions. As students and stakeholders wonder, “Where is our money going?”, they are now demanding accountability and immediate improvements to their educational environments.

Featured image credits: Devesh for DU Beat

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Kavya Vashisht

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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