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Swine flu fear grips Odisha’s Utkal University students as pigs roam freely on campus

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Bhubaneswar: Visit Utkal University campus any time during the day, you will find a herd of stray pigs roaming freely, especially near gents’ hostels and in front of various departments forcing the students to live in fear of getting afflicted with swine flu.

Sighting of pigs on the campus of the premier varsity is now a common scene these days like stray dogs for the last few years.

At a time when the State is in the grip of deadly swine flu, free run of these animals inside the campus of the varsity has left many students fuming.

“A pack of stray pigs used to roam freely near my hostel everyday creating an unhygienic environment to live in. We have many a times appraised our hostel authorities about it but nothing has happened so far,” rued Peeyush Sharma, a PhD scholar, who stays in fifth boys’ hostel.

Surrounding areas of hostel no- 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 has turned into favourite grazing grounds for these animals. Many a time, the pigss are even straying into the lawns of various departments.

“We had warned the pig farmers at Patharabandha slum many times but they are not paying any heed to our words. The higher authority should take stern action against those freeing the pigs into the campus,” said Amulya Kumar Barik, caretaker of Madhusudan Chhatrabash.

A park which is located near the first boys’ hostel in the varsity has turned out to be a grazing field for the pigs. One can find pigs inside this park at any time of the day.

The varsity authorities, however, said they will soon urge the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) in this regard.

“We have already informed the vice chancellor about it and very soon he will write to Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) to take steps to make the campus pigs free,” said Anthropology department professor KK Basa, who is also the hostel warden.

Recently, the varsity has been awarded A+ grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with 3.53 cumulative grade point average (CGPA) for its overall development.

Meanwhile, official sources said as many as 21 people have died due to swine flu in the State so far. Besides, 247 persons tested positive for the deadly H1N1 virus.