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.

Souradeep Bhattacharja

I am pursuing my Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad. I passed my ICSE Examination in 2012 from Calcutta Boys' School with 96% and I passed my AISSCE in 2014 with 96% from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

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