Meghalaya: NEIAH downplays students’ on-going agitation; issues rebuttal to allegations

Meghalaya: NEIAH downplays students’ on-going agitation; issues rebuttal to allegations

By Our Reporter, TNT News | Shillong, March 15, 2018:

The ongoing protest staged by the students of the North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy (NEIAH), Shillong over unavailability of better facilities and accommodations, which entered the fourth day today, has compelled the management to step forth and clarify on the whole mess.

While downplaying the protest of the students, NEIAH Director Prof (Dr) PK Goswami told media persons on Thursday that there was no prior and proper intimation of the protests by the students to the office of the NEIAH.

For four consecutive days, the students have not attended any classes as a mark of protest against the alleged 'indifferent' attitude shown by the management towards their plight. The students have been demanding better transport facilities, accommodation, hostel facilities or subsidy to compensate their rent.

Clarifying on the issues raised by the students, Prof Goswami said in as far as accommodation is concerned, since there was no proposal for construction of hostels under phase I of the project, the institute has on March 30, 2017 signed an agreement with National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC) for construction of guest house, UG hostel for boys and girls, staff quarter and senior resident hostel under phase II of the project with an estimated cost of Rs 56.03 crore.

Furthermore, he informed that the NPCC limited has opened the financial bid on March 12, 2018 and the construction work is expected to commence shortly after completion of required process.

Reacting to the issues raised by the students on subsidy, the NEIAH director said that during a meeting held on May 2, 2017, the students were informed that they had two options at hand – one – either they could accept the proposal for hostel fee to be collected by the institute at Rs 2000 per month per student along with caution money of Rs 6000 which was refundable or two – they  could find out an alternative arrangement with the hostel owner directly regarding the monthly rental, over and above the existing mess fee of Rs 3800 per month.

"Due to dissatisfaction of the 1st batch students residing in the private hostel, the NEIAH authority had withdrawn the contract as they could not receive any intimation from students on time," Prof Goswami said.

It was informed that presently, 94 girl students of this institute have been put up at North East Girls Hostel at Mawlai Mawroh which is a purely private hostel having no connection with the institute while 33 boys have been accommodated in another hostel owned by the same proprietor.

"The rest of the students are residing in their own homes or self arranged accommodation but the institute has extended transportation facility made available to all the hostellers. This is the reason why there is overcrowding of the buses to some extent. However, the institute has recently provided an additional bus to meet the growing demand," said the NEIAH director.

In as far as laboratory facilities is concerned, the director said that Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation Limited (HSCC (I) ltd which has been entrusted with the job of consultancy under Phase I of the project after taking a long five years, ultimately handed over all the buildings including colleges on October 3, 2016 without developing proper Labs as required to develop to run a professional college.

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"Thereafter, as per the approval of the 6th meeting of the SFC which was held on November 26, 2016 at Shillong, HSCC (I) Ltd was asked to execute and modify the Labs as per our requirement with an additional cost of Rs 52 lakh which is in progress now and expected to be completed shortly," Prof Goswami added.

Reacting to allegations on shortage of faculty, Prof Goswami said that the question does not arise as the institute has filled up the post of faculty on many occasions and apropos to teachers who are required to leave mid-way to further specialize in their respective subjects, the institute have received the support from the faculty of NEIGRIHMS.

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