CHENNAI: Even as the Prime Minister on Tuesday pleaded to maintain social distancing, the situation at IIT-Madras (IIT-M) has triggered panic among students. The institute has ordered relocation of students, and around 300 of them are being cramped in one hostel with common facilities. From sharing washrooms to drinking water dispensary and with just one mess facility, the students have gone into panic mode. Many of them alleged that these measures are in violation of COVID-19 precautionary guidelines. Pictures show Shakti Kitchen, the lone mess facility, resembling a busy restaurant with long queues.
In its official response, IIT-M told TNIE, “The institute is ensuring that social distancing is being more than adequately maintained in both hostel and the mess. We also have to minimise the need for support staff.” “Rooms in Bhadra hostel, where we are being shifted, are unhygienic and not sanitized. Toilets are unclean and are being shared by many. The hostel also has a history of recent foreign students and travellers,” a PhD scholar said.
In a WhatsApp group of the hostel, few students have also complained of the quality of water. “Before the relocation notice, it was said that the rooms will be cleaned and sanitized. But that has not been done,” another student said.
Currently, the students have cleaned and sanitized their rooms. Meanwhile, IIT-M has issued an advisory to international students, who arrived after March 13, to be under quarantine and seek assistance from advisors or mentors.