Thursday witnessed litthis and chokhas at the North Campus as students from the University of Delhi (DU) held a protest near the Vishwavidalaya metro station to show their displeasure against the construction of a 39-storied building near the Campus.
A wave of voices raised in unison on 7th November to protest against the construction of a building near campus. Vishwavidalaya metro station, being the nearest spectator to the protest, witnessed students from DU put forth their concerns and issues.
An uncanny side of the protest was the campaign of “solidarity through food” at the North Campus, serving litti chokha as a way to amplify support against the construction. Jagannath Jaggu, one of the organisers of the event, pursuing M.A. in Buddhist Studies said that they were trying to unite people living in the University area. He further added that the E-rickshaw Drivers’ Association has extended their support to the campaign.
The roots of the protest were traced out to be an issue against the construction of a 39- storied building near campus, on the grounds that it could compromise the privacy of women’s hostel in the area. The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and the University administration joined hands in opposing the construction. The Hindu reported that the construction by a private builder is reportedly being undertaken on a land that originally belonged to the Ministry of Defence. It was transferred to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC), and finally to the builder. It is told that the DMRC had acquired 3.05 hectares of land from the Defence Ministry in 2001, of which the metro station was built on 1 hectare of land. The rest was given to a company, which is planning to build residential flats.
Rasal Singh, member of the Campus Development Committee said, “The University was united over the issue.” He said that the building would “bulldoze the teaching-learning culture of the University.” He further added, “Government authorities must take serious cognizance… and immediately stop the construction of this illegal building.”
One of the participants in the protest, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “I am here for a different cause too. The Air Quality Index of North Campus has hit a severe low. Constructional activities have to stop, otherwise, the air shall remain choked.”
Feature Image Credits: The Times of India