Institute of Technology (NIT) Sikkim at Ravangla on Sunday launched a hunger strike in the NIT campus, demanding basic facilities like water and toilets. There are 192 students in the NIT Ravangla in south Sikkim who come from different parts of the country. “We are not being given the basic facilities like water to drink or proper toilets.

There are numerous other problems, but we had been keeping mum with a view that the management would solve the same at the earliest. However, it’s been more than 6-7 months now, and the problems persist,” a student said. According to him, the students have not been attending classes for the past one week due to the water crisis in the campus. “The problems faced by us were placed before the management, but till date, nothing has happened. As such, we decided to go on a hunger strike, and we want the authorities concerned to solve our problems,” another student said.

The students also complained of sub-standard food served to them. Another student added that they demand concrete solutions to the problems “because without the basic facilities in place, it is really difficult for us to carry on with our studies smoothly.” An official at the NIT Ravangla admitted that water and Internet were major problem in the campus. “The institute has hired a vehicle to ferry water to the campus, but the water ferried is not enough to meet the requirements. We are looking for a solution and are also holding dialogue with the state government for possible help in mitigating the problems,” he said.

He added that the Public Health Engineering Department and local authorities are also extending all possible help, but that it is not enough to fulfil the needs. On the Internet connection problems, he said that five campuses of the NIT in Sikkim are connected with the Internet, but others running on rented buildings have not been given the facility.

“We will need a minimum of one week to even find a temporary solution to the water problems,” he said. Additional Chief Secretary, HRDD, GP Upadhyay said he is aware of the problems faced by the NIT Ravangla. “I have requested the secretary at the PHE department, along with the District Collector-South to resolve the water problem at the earliest,” he said.