Keeping Jamia off Metro course

A red signal to the propo­s­ed Metro station in Jamia Millia Islamia University, shown by the Law minister Salman Khurshid on the grounds that it could ‘disturb’ the campus life, has got mixed reactions from the university’s students.

 Work on proposed Jamia Metro station has been stalled owing to security concerns.

The fact that the comment by the minister is being backed by the university’s vice chancellor Najeeb Jung has irked students even more who commute to the varsity by buses from far off places. A Metro station in the vicinity of the university, which is located in one corner of Delhi, would have made life far easier.

Shabnam Saifi, a first-year student of MA in Urdu, says the university is anyway very far off because it is not centrally situated and the bus service is poor too.

“Besides easing the com­m­u­ting issues, it would have connected Jamia university with other areas,” she says.

Imran Chaudhary, a final-year student, agrees with her and goes to the extent of terming the VC’s decision ‘political’ as the Metro has not created problems wherever it has gone.

“Delhi University is such a good example of this. Here also it would have benefited students and the people living in surrounding areas. The decision of stalling the construction doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know what the agenda behind it is,” he opines.

The university officials backing the move, on the other hand, argue that a Metro station in the middle of the campus could create a problem in handling the ‘outside’ crowd. “Our problem is not with a Metro station in the campus. The bone of contention is an over ground station - that too right in the middle of the university which is located on two sides of the road,” a spokesperson of the university tells Metrolife.

The road links Jamia Nagar and Batla House to Mathura Road and south Delhi.
“Already there is heavy traffic on the road. The inflow of people and traffic in and around the university would increase further if a Metro station comes up here. It would be difficult to keep a tab on who is coming here,” the spokesperson adds.

The proposed Metro station was a part of the nearly 33.5-km Janakpuri West to Kalindi Kunj Metro corridor that would benefit around 10 lakh people.

There are a few however, who support the VC’s decision saying that Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Road, on which the campus is located, remains busy as the area is densely populated and a Metro station would add to the traffic.

Shiraz, who is pursuing his PhD, says, “Our university is such that one department is on one side if the road and another department on the other side. It is difficult to cross the road. What will happen when we have a Metro station in the centre of the campus? DU is spacious and does not have as much residential population as Jamia. We have no problem if it is constructed a bit away from it.”

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