Strapped for cash, University of Madras unable to manage hostels

Sources say varsity authorities are mulling taking loans to feed students
File picture of University of Madras
File picture of University of Madras

CHENNAI: University of Madras on Monday fell into a real predicament as it realised all its hostel bank accounts have been frozen by the Income Tax (I-T) department. Varsity authorities alleged that they have no money to operate the campus hostels now as the I-T department is tightening its noose around the university day by day.

“How will we feed the students in the hostels? As all the accounts are frozen and we don’t have a single rupee in hand to manage the hostels, “ said a hostel official, adding that the I-T department’s action is unfair. “The money deposited in the hostels’ account is not our earnings. It’s the money paid by students towards their lodging expenses,” said another official.

According to sources, the university has 7 hostels, which accommodate around 2,000 students. On average, the university needs `3 lakh per day to keep the hostels operational.

Sources said that the university authorities are contemplating taking loans to run the hostels. “As we can’t leave the students hungry, we will take a loan to manage the hostels. However, the loan will only add to our financial burden as we are already cash-strapped,” said an official.

Meanwhile, a team of varsity officials again met the I-T department on Monday, seeking relief on the issue. By the time of filing this report, discussion among the officials was still on. According to sources, the varsity has been apprised of the problems they face with the higher education secretary and state government.

“Hopefully, the state government will intervene in the matter and we will get relief. Otherwise, how we will pay a tax of `424 crore to the Income tax department,” asked a professor of the university.

Officials added that they will also have a discussion with the TNEB officials to get the last day to clear the bill extended.

File picture of University of Madras
University of Madras stares at power cut as I-T puts bank accounts on hold

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