CUK's patience drying up as water crisis worsens

Struggling to calm affected students , says varsity VC in Kalaburagi

CUK's patience drying up  as water crisis worsens

While Central universities across the country on Thursday resolved to “proudly” hoist the national flag, here is one such university which is gasping for life. Central University of Karnataka (CUK) in Kalaburagi, which has been enduring acute water scarcity since 2013, is now staring at a fresh crisis.

With supply of water guaranteed only for the next fortnight, the administration is on the edge, unsure of the fate of the students and staff for the remainder of the term.

The administration is also hoping that water scarcity will not snowball into a situation, where the students will take matter into their own hands.

“The students are closely watching developments in the University of Hyderabad and Jawaharlal Nehru University. We were literally on the edge when the Rohith Vemula incident broke out. The university has also seen widespread protests following the death of a student who complained of water contamination two years ago. Though we have been trying to keep the students calm, there is a simmering discontent over their most basic needs not being met,” said CUK vice-chancellor H M Maheshwaraiah.

Maheshwaraiah, who was present at the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) meeting on February 18, where a decision was taken to hoist the national flag, said that his only priority was to reach out to MHRD Minister Smriti Irani. “There has been a raging debate on nationalism. But here, it is the question of our very existence. But I got to speak to speak to her only briefly. Despite CUK writing to both State and Union governments several times, there has been no respite.”

The vice chancellor said a decision was taken to advance the semester exams which is usually held between the end of April and mid-May.

“We knew the situation would get worse in the summer months. Hence we cancelled the month-long mid-term holidays in November 2015. We wanted to complete the syllabus as quickly as possible, so that students could go to their home towns in April. The exams will get over by April 10 or 12,” he said.

The university, which requires 1.5 mld of water for its 1,500 students and around 300 staff/faculty, has been getting less than 1 mld water from the Amarja reservoir.

Recently, a decision was taken to supply dead storage water but the pipeline works are yet to begin.

Factfile

 CUK needs 1.5 mld of water to cater to the needs of its students and staff.

 Around 1,500 students and  300 staff/faculty members on campus.

 Pipeline works yet to begin for supply of dead storage water.

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