Another short circuit incident was reported at Boys Hostel Number 4 on Friday night, raising concerns over electrical wiring at Panjab University (PU), as fire incidents due to short circuits continue on the campus. In the last three months, three incidents of this type have been reported.
While Friday’s incident was not major and there were some sparks, the video of which went viral on social media, hostel residents confirmed that there are no fire extinguishers on all floors of PU hostels.
According to Divyansh Thakur, PU researcher, the wiring boards of hostel number 8 are left exposed, which can also endanger the lives of students. “This is an accident waiting to happen and the authorities must be proactive about it. Wiring boards along most of the lodge’s water coolers were removed, leaving the wires exposed. Also, there are no fire extinguishers in the hallways,” he said.
A minor fire, due to a short circuit, was also reported at the international hostel on August 16. Apart from the hostels, a minor fire also broke out at the AC Joshi Library on August 7 which was attributed to faulty wiring.
Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) president Jatinder Singh said, “The problem is that the wiring needs to be renewed. “We will ask the Punjab government to allocate some funds for the maintenance of the hostels before building new ones.”
Speaking about this incident, Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Jatinder Grover said, “We ensure that fire extinguishers are installed in all hostels. “The wiring in some hostels has become old and is being replaced in phases, which will ensure the system is more secure.”
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) team, in its visit to the PU campus in August, also recommended that since most of the buildings on the Panjab University campus are old and have heritage structures, it is necessary to renew and improve them to guarantee safety.