Students at National Law Institute University (NLIU) Bhopal are at loggerheads with the administration over having to cram into makeshift accommodation on account of the increased batch strength and limited infrastructure.
Beginning the current academic year (2022-23), NLIU Bhopal increased its intake capacity from 120 to 180 students without accounting for the inevitable increased need for residential infrastructure.
Speaking to Bar & Bench on the administration's response to their grievances, a student said,
"We approached the Vice-Chancellor and the chief body at the University, all of whom have been saying that they are 'not obligated' to provide us with accommodation and that we 'must adjust'."
"The University is located in a remote location in the midst of a jungle and there is no residential accommodation around for about 10 kms. Plus, since it is a national forest, after 6pm even Zomato and Swiggy stop delivering because of the threat of wild animals. So, it is not safe to travel at night beyond 8pm especially on a 2-wheeler, which makes arranging accommodation particularly challenging," the student added.
The students have been staying crammed up in the residential units on campus including the guest rooms. The warden's residence, which was converted into a store house, is being occupied by 9 students. Another warden's residence currently has close to 14 students living in it. The Professor's quarters are being occupied by students as well.
"There is a big hall where they have put beds like a dormitory but there's no place to change clothes, no desks or cupboards to keep our belongings in. Even the TV room which is a common room has beds currently. They created cubicles around the beds. These cubicles don't have cupboards, desks or anything else except for beds. We also experience electricity shortage in these areas and it is overall a horrible place to be in and feels like the worst punishment. Privacy is also compromised because these cubicles are not covered from the top for ventilation purposes," a student claimed.
The University has also taken on rent one floor of a Bull Mother Farm 2kms away from the college. Some students are also living in the Convention Centre at the University which have suites built for chief guests attending functions at the University. There are guest rooms built for parents visiting the University, which are now occupied by students. Similar is the situation in the girls hostel as well, where some students are forced to live in the kitchen. Despite all of these arrangements made, there continue to be around 25 students who are without accommodation.
"These 25 odd students are staying with their friends in the hostel. Our rooms are extremely small and has just enough space for 1 person to stay. When 2-3 people are now living in these rooms, there's barely any space to even place a foot on the floor," mentioned another student
On trying to address their concerns with the administration on mail, their emails are unattended to.
Bar & Bench reached out to the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar at the University for their comments on the issue.
In an email, the Registrar replied,
"May I request you to please visit our campus and see the hostels and other facilities."