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Kota is buzzing after 9 months as students return | India News


JAIPUR: Almost nine months after the pandemic painted Kota with an almost deserted appearance, the country’s famous ‘coach city’ is preparing for a new life.
From the many training institutes and hostels large and small to the street vendors, taxis and auto-rickshawallah, they are all on their feet. The city is buzzing with activity, awaiting January 18 when students from across the country studying there for competitive exams, roughly 1.5 lakh, who left for their homes during the shutdown, begin to return.
The City of Coaches expects between 30,000 and 40,000 students to return in the first stage, most of them those who will appear in the JEE-Main and NEET exams scheduled this year. Under the government order, colleges are allowed only 50% of the students of the ceiling in their classes, which could be further lowered to 20% to gain the trust of parents and students.

Kota is buzzing after 9 months as students return | India News

The city, which suffered huge losses when students returned home, is now doing everything it can to provide a safe stay in colleges, shelters, markets and restaurants. Training institutes, shelters, caterers, carriers, lifestyle businesses, and real estate agents are racing against time to ensure that state safety regulations, issued Jan.6, are implemented before students return. .
Kota has four major and 50 minor training institutes that have a combined student strength of 1.5 lakh during peak season that lasts from July to January.
From hiring physicians and nurses, assigning isolation rooms, and taking steps to minimize human contact by introducing digital media such as mobile apps, software, and digital assistance, to making structural changes to facilitate follow up on social distancing, they’re doing it all.
“All students entering the training institutes will be screened twice for symptoms of fever and influenza-related illness (ILI). The isolation rooms have been equipped with facilities such as oxygen cylinders and PPE equipment along with an ambulance on standby to ensure that students’ health comes first, ”said Nitesh Sharma, media and marketing manager in a specialty. training in Kota. Provisions have been made for infrared disinfection of the campus twice a day, he added.
The owners and managers of some 3,000 shelters and 25,000 families who rent parts of their homes to students are also preparing, with guidelines calling for measures such as painting, fumigation and sanitation of the reopening of their complexes after nine months.
“I have worked 18 hours a day to get two shelters that I run according to the new guidelines. The protocol allows me to use only 50 out of 150 rooms. The hostel association has made it mandatory to close the dining room and serve food in the rooms, ”said Sunil Agarwal, president of the Koral Park Hostel Association, which has 600 hostels.
“Markets in the city alone have reported a loss of Rs 3 billion. Two lakhs of people lost their jobs. The biggest concern was that 12 billion rupees of student-related investment was at stake. Reopening, even at 40% strength, can help save the city’s economy, ”said Ashok Maheshwari, secretary of Kota Vyapar Sangh, a body of 150 market associations. To keep markets safe and secure, the 150 associations have committed to forming a monitoring committee that will inspect stores on a routine basis.
Those in the unorganized sectors are also hopeful. TOI spoke with autorickshaw pilot Azad Khan prior to the announcement of the reopening. “When the students left Kota, my income dropped to almost 20%. It was difficult to make ends meet. I have borrowed money for new seat covers to provide a comfortable ride. I hope to win as much as before the pandemic, ”Khan said.
The local administration is also doing its part to ensure a smooth reopening of the Coaches City. “Special teams have been formed. All interested parties have been instructed to follow the guidelines. We have offered all possible help to ensure that the students stay at home in Kota, ”said Kota district collector Ujjwal Rathore.

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