Bhubaneswar: Tension erupted on the Utkal University campus on Thursday morning after the authorities asked students to vacate the hostels because of the approaching cyclone Fani.
A notice was sent to hostel superintendents to direct the students to compulsorily vacate their rooms by 10am on Thursday. The decision created pandemonium in the hostels, as the inmates were not prepared for the “last minute” decision.
They said it would be difficult for them to travel in the absence of means of conveyance because of the cyclone. “Most of us students stay far away from Bhubaneswar, and this sudden intimation from the authorities is really inhuman,” said Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra, member of the varsity’s students’ union. “It will be difficult for everyone to get buses and trains and travel to their homes at this eleventh hour.”
Following the notice, students met the authorities to allow them to stay in the hostels. While most of the girls have already vacated the hostels, around 70 per cent of boys have stayed back.
“We held a discussion with the authorities and they have allowed us to stay on. But, they have told us to make our own arrangement for food, as the mess will be closed,” said Subrat Behera, a student.
Sabita Acharya, chairperson of the PG council, said: “We had to take the decision as we cannot predict what the situation will be like in the next few days. But, those who cannot travel will be allowed to stay in the hostels and we will try to ensure their safety,” she said.
At present there are thirteen hostels inside the campus, six for gents and seven for ladies.