Beas drowning: college pleads innocence, others disagree

As briefed parents blamed the Hyderabad institution, vice-principal says such tours 'policy matters'

shivani

Shivani Chaturvedi | June 13, 2014




The maiden session of the Telangana assembly began on June 9. After a prolonged struggle for statehood, it was supposed to be an occasion to remember for the people of Hyderabad – as elsewhere in the country’s newest state. But a tragic note was sounded nearly 2,000 kilometres away the night before.

So as chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his cabinet colleagues assumed office in A, B, C and D blocks of Hyderabad Secretariat, which constitute the secretariat of the new state, life came to a stop barely two kilometres away. At the Alwal crematorium, grief-stricken family members, friends and relatives of Gampala Aishwarya  attended Aishwarya’s last rites.

Aishwarya was among the two dozen students of VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology in the city who were washed away in the Beas river in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district the evening before.

Underneath the grief is resentment against the institution. K Sangappa, grandfather of Arvind,  one of the students still missing, said, “I will meet families of other missing students and together we will take legal action against the institute.”

Many other family members also criticised the attitude of the college authorities, saying the officials did not answer the phone or give them updates even half day since television channels began beaming the news. “We got all information through TV channels. Neither the college nor the state government are helping much to give us updates,” said Arvind’s mother, G Seshlatha. “We gave whatever fees the college asked for. We never questioned the college authorities. But they could not even take care of my child...”

Manoj Kumar and Vijay, third-year polytechnic students at the institute, said: “They went on a tour that was part of industrial training. For polytechnic students, trainings are held nearby; we don’t have to go a long distance on tour.”

This being in the middle of summer vacation, there few students and faculty members in the college, located on the outskirts of Hyderabad city. Refusing to be drawn into conversation, most faculty members stood in groups and interacted among themselves in hushed tones.

But there’s one question that’s palpable in even the overall silence: who exactly is, or are, accountable for the death of over 20 students? “There is nothing like accountability in this incident,” said C Kiranmai, vice-principal of VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute. The industrial tour, she said, is part of the curriculum and is pre-scheduled. Students from the college have been going on such tours since 1995.

A few other batches are also out on tour and have been asked to return after the Mandi mishap since their parents are worried, Kiranmai said. “We send second-year engineering students on industrial tour every year. We have a common tour organiser who arranges such trips. We survey the market before finalising tour organisers and try and get the best person,” she said.

“Such tours are policy matters and this lone incident should not be the reason to cut off tours in future.”

Established in 1995 by registered non-profit education society Vignana Jyothi, VNR Institute is recognised by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The institute is affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Hyderabad.

Prof Rameshwar Rao, vice-chancellor, JNTU, however, said it was “not” an industrial tour. “They went for picnic in that area. It was the fault of the (institute) management – they didn’t take enough precaution…. It was also lapse on part of people who released water from the dam.”
 

 

Comments

 

Other News

INS Kiltan commissioned into Indian Navy

 INS Kiltan, the third anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette built under project 28 (Kamorta class), was commissioned into the Indian Navy by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam.    The anti-submarine warfare stealth corvet

SAIL`s special grade steel used to build stealth corvette

Maharatna enterprise, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) has supplied defence grade micro-alloyed grade of steel (DMR 249A) steel plates for the indigenously built anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette INS-Kiltan commissioned into Indian Navy.    SAIL’s integ

The mapping of India

 This is the 250th year since the inception of the Survey of India that has been mapping the boundaries since 1767. Archana Mishra spoke to Dr Swarna Subba Rao, former surveyor general of India, who retired in June this year.  He joined the department as a deputy superintending surveyor in 1983 a

An ODF experiment that succeeded

An experiment carried out to make Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district Open Defecation Free (ODF) succeeded due to an official’s innovative approach, noted a World Bank blog.   The blog “Compressed demand”: How Uttar Pradesh is making sure rural sanitation subs

Finding a diplomatic way through political instability

As an emerging global power and the most powerful state in South Asia, India has been perennially concerned about protracted political instability and resultant social turmoil in Afghanistan during the past few decades. Indeed, India’s engagement in the realm of development cooperation, since the o

Kashmir’s Bloody Money Trail

Till the National Investigation Agency (NIA) caught up with him in Delhi on August 17, 70-year-old Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, a businessman, was indeed one of the most powerful persons in Kashmir valley. He was known to wield enormous clout in the corridors of power, both in Srinagar and Delhi. His influenc



Video

Dhanteras today, know subh muhurat for shopping and puja

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter