Following severe push back from the students and the Non-Academic Staff Association (NASA), the decision to convert the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) into a quarantine facility for category C flyers has been overturned. The Collector had taken the decision to turn the campus into a COVID-19 quarantine centre for C-category flyers; those coming into the country from international destinations under executive order, earlier this week.
The move to set up a quarantine centre inside the IIT-B campus had faced stiff resistance from both the students and the non-academic staff right from the get go, prompting NASA to write a letter to the state government. “NASA is very strongly opposed to this decision taken by the institute authorities, as this decision will endanger the lives of the campus residents and students,” read the associations letter.
The letter also stated that NASA had approached the Chief Minister, Health Minister, Education Minister and the secretariat of the state government urging them to overturn this move. When ‘The Watchdog News’ had asked the IIT-B administration if the move to set up a quarantine facility within the campus had met any resistance, the IIT-B spokesperson replied saying,
“Yes the decision to convert sections of the campus into a quarantine facility has been confirmed and is being carried out under the relevant sections of the law. We being a central government institution are bound to comply with the executive orders. Concerns, however, are being raised by students and families residing here.”
The Mumbai Suburban Collector has confirmed today that the decision to build quarantine centres inside the campus has been rejected, however the IIT-B administration, has not yet been issued an official notification on this decision. A spokesperson from the institute has confirmed to this publication that they have not yet received any official notice from the Collector’s office.
However despite the lack of confirmation from the administration, this publication has confirmed this development and is in possession of a copy of the notification.This sudden change of decision comes at a time when two quarantine facilities had been set up in Powai. The first was to be housed within the Vanivihar Guest House, Hostel-18, Hostel-8 B-Wing and the MTNL guest houses inside the IIT-B campus.
While the second facility has been set up at the BMC Training Centre in Raheja Vihar. The quarantine centre in Raheja Vihar has been designed to be a 100-bed facility for category-C flyers.
The Watchdog News will report on any further developments.
Illustration: Rhea Rane