Anna University’s students affairs and hostel in-charge, P. Hariharan, has written to the residential students of College of Engineering, Guindy, putting the onus of safety of their belongings in the hostel on the Greater Chennai Corporation.
The official, has in a reply to students’ mail said they must ensure that the GCC has made proper and safe arrangements for the students’ travel and the safety of their belongings before leaving home.
“You are requested to wait till you hear from the authorities of the Corporation of Chennai. You are advised to act always keeping your health and safety as first priority,” the Dean has told the students.
The official said the civic body is responsible for the safe transport of the students’ belongings and that the University will not take any responsibility for their travel to and from the University campus.
He has assured students that their personal belongings, including their academic materials, notes, books from the hostels in College of Engineering, Guindy, “are still in the same way as left by the students.” He also assured the students that the administration understood the importance and the value of their personal belongings which included original mark sheets, certificates, academic materials, innovations/projects/other papers.”
The official explained that the request to vacate the hostel rooms came from the Chennai Corporation for use of their hostel rooms for quarantine purposes.
“All the logistics including reaching out to the students on their mobile, arranging their travel permits, transportation from place of students residence to AU campus and their return transportation together with baggage containing personal belongings is the complete responsibility of Chennai Corporation in accordance with their commitment to our VC. Anna University has no role in this exercise,” he has written.
Further, “When Corporation officials contact students and request to travel to Chennai, please fully ensure from the officials all the said arrangements prior to your departure from your residence and return to your residence safely with your baggage. In the event if the logistic-arrangement is not up to the mark and to your satisfaction, please do not undertake your journey, since your safety and health is most important to us,” the mail to students said.
The University has forwarded a copy of the reply to the Deputy Commissioner of the Corporation “for necessary satisfactory arrangements” as according to the university officials, “This planning on the part of the Authorities of the Corporation of Chennai is very crucial, and binding.”
The Dean, who is also the warden of the hostels, further said students could “come in person or depute a guardian or authorise anyone, through whom you can send the room keys.” Students are expected to inform the hostel office of any change in their address and contact details.
The Greater Chennai Corporation’s Commissioner G. Prakash had given an ultimatum to Anna University to vacate and hand over all the students’ hostels by June 20, citing rules under the Disaster Management Act. Students had opposed the move of the Corporation to take over the hostels for COVID-19 Care Centres.
The University had provided two buildings, and a yet-to-be inaugurated students’ hostel to quarantine people who arrived from other States with COVID-19 infections.
The University has maintained that it would not trespass into hostel rooms as it would be an offence.