Bamboo classrooms - answer to Delhi University’s space crunch

June 22nd, 2009 - 11:08 am ICT by IANS  

By Vaishali Bhambri
New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) You’ve heard of bamboo houses, but classrooms? Yes, the idea has taken seed in many Delhi University colleges that are gearing up to cope with thousands of additional entrants amid an infrastructure crunch.

“We can’t keep waiting to hear from the local bodies for permission for construction. Fact is the college needs classrooms and we have decided to build them with bamboo which will have a capacity to accommodate about 45 students,” Savita M. Dutta, principal of Maitreyi College, told IANS.

Gargi, Sri Venakateswara, Daulat Ram, Maharaja Agrasen and Acharya Narender Dev colleges are also planning to greet students in the coming academic session with classrooms and canteens built with bamboo instead of concrete.

Last year, 42,000 seats were made available in the university whereas this year it will be extended to 49,000. The additional 7,000 seats were added across all undergraduate courses.

“In a meeting a month ago, vice chancellor Deepak Pental suggested the use of bamboo as a material to build new classrooms,” said Sunil Sondhi, principal of Maharaja Agrasen College.

Meera Ramachandran, principal of Gargi college, said: “We are not sure how much time will be required to build these bamboo rooms; the plan is under consideration.”

According to Delhi University administrative officials, the idea of these new classrooms actually came from the bamboo hut canteen in the varsity’s south campus inaugurated a few months ago.

“Colleges like Sri Venkateswara, Gargi and Kirori Mal have got inspiration from the bamboo canteen and they plan to make classrooms from the same,” said Dinesh C. Varshney, deputy dean of students welfare (DSW), Delhi University’s south campus.

The university has given a thumbs up to the proposed structures and released funds for it. Each college will construct these classrooms on their own.

Seema Parihar, deputy DSW of the varsity, said: “We do not require clearance from the MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) for building bamboo classrooms. The principals of colleges have made their presentations and money has been allotted to them accordingly.”

Many students, however, are not upbeat about the proposed bamboo classrooms.

“If the fees is the same, how can they put one set of students in bamboo shacks and others in the concrete rooms! There should be equal infrastructure provided for everyone,” said Nikita, a third year student of Kamala Nehru College.

Another varsity student who did not want to be named said: “There are private colleges where my friends study where they have some classes with asbestos sheet roofs. There, students had to face jeers like ‘oye slum JJ colony’ - that could happen in our colleges as well. I don’t like the idea.”

Shagun, another student, said: “It is not a good idea! I mean bamboo classrooms for Delhi’s extreme hot and cold weathers would be torture for us students.”

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