Devbrat Patnaik

By Devbrat Patnaik

Berhampur: Alleging financial irregularities in utilisation of funds of Berhampur University, the Students’ Union on Sunday demanded a CBI and Vigilance probe into various ‘discrepancies’ and demanded strict action against all those involved. The student leaders have also threatened to go on an indefinite strike if an inquiry is not initiated at an early date.

However, the Vice Chancellor of Berhampur University has refuted the allegations terming those as “rubbish”.

At a presser organized by the Students’ Union on Sunday, the leaders including president of the Union V Srinivas Rao, leveled allegations of serious irregularities in funds released under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (Rusa) and UGC. “These funds are being mismanaged and spent lavishly by the VCRajendra Prasad Das,” they further alleged.

Pointing at the ‘faulty’ process the Vice-Chancellor adopted to renovate the faculty club into his quarters, the students alleged that no tender was invited for the Rs 2 crore work. It is important to note that the VC has a staff quarter allotted to him on the campus. The union leaders also blamed the VC for shutdown of Distance Education course in the varsity arbitrarily, which has affected thousands.

They denounced the VC for reportedly using derogatory language as and when they have wished to meet him. “We donot want to hear statements like ‘Let the University go to hell. Let Odisha go to hell.’ from a Vice-Chancellor,” said Rao.

Among the endless allegations were inflated billing of water purifiers installed in all the hostels, unnecessary purchase of beds and many more, the student leaders said.

Speaking to odishatv.in, VC of the university Rajendra Das said these things are ‘saddening’ for him though he is not bothered.

“The students’ union should have spoken to me for these clarifications but since they did not, I believe, these are just to satisfy their personal interest. As I have not allowed any kind of approval to illegal works within the varsity, they have decided to settle scores,” he said.

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Stating that the VC quarters has been in a dilapidated condition after Phalin and Hudhud and already lot of money has been pumped for its renovation, he said he chose to renovate the faculty club and take occupation. “I will not endorse payments made for renovation of old VC quarters, so I would prefer a place which can be renovated and  not only me, any VC after me too can stay on campus instead of outside,” he clarified, adding, “we have a purchase committee and a negotiation committee besides a syndicate which play a major role. The students can demand any inquiry, I have no problem.”

University Registrar Sailendra Dwibedi said," As I am new to the campus, I cannot comment on actually what's transpiring in the varsity. There might have been irregularities but I would not know about all these."

Students’ Union former President Bhabani Kant Sahu, Vice-President Malaya Ranjan Patra, Ranishree Behera were among others present in the press meet.

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