ISMDiaries – SHUTTLE BLUES

Till recently
for every ISMite returning to their alma mater, the auto-rickshaw proved to be
the cheapest and easiest option of transport available to take them to the
hostel gate. Now it’s different. One now has to stop at the ISM gate as autos
are not allowed in the institute campus anymore. There is a new conveyance on
the block, meant to transport them to their hostels, the new shuttle service!
If one is lucky enough, one may find a Mahindra Tourister Mini bus waiting to
take him or her to his or her hostel. More often than not, this is not the
case! Students have had to wait for over thirty minutes to get a bus!

Many of ISM’s
students come from faraway places and they are naturally tired after the long
train journey, besides most of the times, they carry a lot of luggage. In this
condition waiting for thirty minutes is not really a lucrative option.

The new shuttle
service is really a good effort by the administration but is not effective
enough to cater to the needs of so many ISMites. Before banning autos from
entering the campus, sufficient number of buses must have been inducted into
the fleet. Operating the service with just one bus is ridiculous, one more bus
has been sanctioned but that is not optimal either, ISM needs at least five to
six buses doing the rounds of the campus.

The other
aspect of this service is the effect on the livelihood of the rickshaw pullers
on the campus. They are already riddled with problems of low usage and on top
of that the bus service poses a serious threat to their livelihood! The ISM
authorities need to work out a plan to run buses in such a way so as not to
destroy these people’s income. Even the auto rickshaw drivers have expressed
their concerns. I have had an auto rickshaw driver telling me, “Sir, what would
you do if you arrive at, say midnight, would you avail the bus?”, this is
really a valid point as the bus runs from only five in the morning to about
eleven in the night. They have also said that they would charge very high and
not the usual seventy or eighty rupees!

It is true that
the authorities want a world class institute but they should also not overlook
the service which the people of this region have offered us! The auto drivers
and rickshaw pullers have been in the service of ISM for quite a long time.
Alienating ourselves from the people of the region is not particularly good for
this institute! I believe this ban on autos from entering the campus should be
revoked. It’s for the better good of all. As of now the bus service is most
unreliable and we still have to largely depend on other transport options. Let
us co-exist with the people of the region and develop the institute in such a
way that the entire state of Jharkhand and the country can be proud of this
prestigious cradle of engineering which is older than any IIT in the country.

We are pleased to present to you a series of articles and stories from India’s premier engineering institutes. This is an article by Souradeep Bhattacharja, a student of ISM Dhanbad, and was first published on www.ismdiaries.com.

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