Students In A Fix As Fani Disrupts Campus Life

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Bhubaneswar: Several university and college campuses in Twin City Bhubaneswar and Cuttack have been badly affected by Cyclone Fani, forcing postponement of examinations and disruption in academic activities. Students living in hostels have either moved to their local guardians’ places or returned to their native locations.

Academic buildings have been hit and there has been an extensive loss to green foliage on the campuses.

The 400-acre sprawling campus of Utkal University bears a barren sight. Most of the trees have been uprooted or broken and the campus looks like a stranger to the eye of even familiar students. Most of the entrances to different departments like Economics, English and Philosophy in the university were blocked by huge trees that have been struck down by the May 3 cyclone.

The fledgling Rama Devi Women’s University, the only women’s varsity in the state, has also borne much damage. Glass panes of windows lie broken inside the campus, according to students who visited the university after the cyclone. Trees had blocked the university entrances. There is water and leaves scattered everywhere.

In National Law University at Cuttack, a wall has collapsed inside the building premises. In the universities of KIIT, SOA as well BJB (Autonomous) College and Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, scores of trees have been lost. The campuses have lost their beauty and greenery.

Students are also perplexed over conduct of examinations, which are deferred due to Fani. “Our authorities are yet to communicate when our exams, which have been shifted, will be held. Hence, I am not able to plan whether to stay put in Bhubaneswar or go to my village,” a student of Utkal University said, preferring anonymity.

Some students complained about problems they faced as hostel evacuation was done with short notice. In some institutions the authorities have a 24-hour notice while in certain other cases it was hardly12 hours before the calamity struck on May 3. “How do they expect us to book train and bus tickets and go to our native places. The authorities ask us to leave our hostels but do not close the institution. It’s a knee-jerk reaction and leave us confused and stranded,” another student fumed.

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