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Students protest infrastructure shortage at Coimbatore government college

COIMBATORE: During the first break of the day, students of the Government Arts College in the city can be seen rushing either to the college canteen or nearby shops to buy drinking water. “Of the six taps in the college that has about 4,000 students, only one is functioning. Though college authorities claim those to be drinking water taps, we get salty water,” said M Dinesh Raja, a student and the district president of Students Federation of India (SFI). A group of students staged a sit-in protest in front of the college on Tuesday demanding basic amenities. There are only two washrooms, each with four toilets, said K Kayalvizhi. “Only two toilets are in usable condition and the rest are damaged. You’ll have to be really desperate to use the toilets because neither water is supplied regularly, nor they are cleaned frequently,” the student said. “Even the lecturers lack proper toilet facilities.” The only time the college premises remain clean is during the visit of NAAC committee, said R Vineeth. “Students were forced to clean the college ahead of each visit,” he said.

Most of the classrooms lack working tubelights and fans, said Kayalvizhi. “In some rooms, there are not holders to place bulb. Those who attend evening batches struggle a lot due to lack of sufficient light.” Meanwhile, college principal K Chitra said that the college management was taking all necessary steps to fulfill the demands of the students despite financial constraints. “We had asked the students to submit their demands in writing. But they have not done so. Using the fund collected from the parent-teachers association and the Old Students Association (OSA), we had appointed additional sanitary workers to clean the toilets. We are taking steps to provide purified water to the students,” she said.