Nagaland Congress appeals authority for immediate intervention
The students of Sao Chang College in Tuensang staged a protest today, 31 August, at Clock Tower in Tuensang Town, demanding the immediate allocation of buses and the construction of a 7 km road stretch from the main Tuensang town to Sao Chang College. According to the students, the protest will continue until their demands are met.
Supporting the students’ demand, the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) Grievances Cell has also appealed to the concerned authority for immediate allocation of the college buses and the construction of the said stretch of road.
Chongkhem, a first-semester student of Sao Chang College, spoke to Mokokchung Times and highlighted that the college has four buses, but most of the time these buses are non-functional. She explained that on some days, only one out of the four buses is operational, and occasionally, only twice.
“Even when all four buses are operational, the capacity of the bus is not enough for the students,” she added. Consequently, students have had to rely on walking or taking private taxis to commute to the college. At times, she said, teachers arrange alternate transportation such as NST and NAP buses, but these options are also deemed inadequate for the students and, therefore, the students end up “adjusting” themselves with private taxis or by walking.
“There is only one government college for Tuensang and Noklak districts, with enrollment being 668 where 4 outdated buses are available, out of which only 3 are partially functional and for that reason students often face difficulties and misses their class many a time due to transportation problem and breakdown of outdated buses,” stated the Nagaland Congress Grievances Cell in a press release.
The party’s media cell reported that their interaction with the students revealed several instances of brake failures, with the most recent one occurring on 30 August 2023.
“It has been learned that the students have approached the elected member of the area in written and verbal, as well as the DC Tuensang but so far their grievances have not been addressed due to which the students had to protest in the middle of the town,” the Nagaland Congress noted.
The party also took note of the college’s operation without a principal for nearly 4 to 5 years. According to their findings, a principal was appointed in September 2022, but was released from the position in May 2023.
Er Meshenlo Kath, Co-Chairman of the NPCC Grievances Cell, informed this newspaper that the NPCC was touring different districts to gather grievances when they encountered the ongoing protest. Recognizing that this issue directly impacts students’ lives, they have taken up the matter.
When asked about the authority’s response over the protest, Chongkhem noted that the college does not even have a principal and is currently being overseen by the Vice Principal. Despite a request from the district administration to resume classes, the students are determined to continue their protest until their demands are met. The student body officials could not be reached at the time of filing this report.