CHENNAI: The students of Chennai Dr Ambedkar Government Law College in Pattaraiperumbudur in Tiruvallur urged the State government to extend free travel concessions to the students to law college students as well.
Leela, a first-year LLB student of the law college, said that though the MTC website states that the government college students are eligible to avail of the free bus pass facility, the bus conductors are arguing that only the government arts and science college students are allowed not the law college students.
She said she was taking a share auto to reach Ashok Nagar Metro station paying Rs 10 from her residence at MGR Nagar. “From Ashok Nagar to Koyambedu, I am paying Rs 20 for the Metro fare. From Koyambedu, it will cost Rs 39 to travel on the MTC bus to Tiruvallur and Rs 15 ticket to Pattaraiperumbudur from Tiruvallur. Overall, I have to spend nearly Rs 170 a day on travel expenses, ” she complained.
M Valarmathi, another first-year student of the college and a well-known student activist said that due to the shifting of the Government Law College in Chennai to Pattaraiperumbudur, near the State border, a student residing in the city has to travel nearly 70 km or five hours journey every day to pursue a law degree. “The Madurai Bench of the Madras High court in August 2013 directed the transport department to extend the free bus passes to the students of government law colleges in the state. Why the order was not being implemented?” she asked. She said that the students have to spend at least Rs 2,000 a month for their travel expenses which is a lot for those from low-income families.
An MTC official said that the free bus passes are provided based on the government’s policy decision. “For each bus passes provided to the students, the government pays the compensation to us,” the official said, adding that to include the government law college students, the government have to take a policy decision.
Sources in Chennai Dr Ambedkar Government Law College said that after the law college was shifted to Tiruvallur in June 2018, the free bus pass was provided to the second and third-year students for a year. “Even those who joined the first year in 2018 were not provided with the free bus passes. The students could apply and avail college student concession ticket which would cost Rs 230 a month, ” sources added.