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'Our Research Work, Lab Equipment At IIT Delhi Damaged In Rain-Induced Flood'

We were shocked and found it hard to believe IIT Delhi was unprepared for a few hours of rain.

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On 28 June, the rain god showered Delhiites with love and gave them some respite from the heat. It rained for a few hours, but it was a disaster for the Kusuma School of Biological Sciences lab at IIT Delhi.

When we arrived at the biological science lab in the basement of the building on Friday morning at around 8:30 a.m., all we could hear were the alarming sounds of the refrigerators, as the lab was flooded up to neck-deep water.

We were shocked and found it hard to believe IIT Delhi was unprepared for a few hours of rain.

A refrigerator floating in the Kusuma School of Biological Sciences lab, at IIT Delhi.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

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The lab had liquid nitrogen tanks, deep freezers up to -80°C, sensitive microscopes, reagents, and samples for research works submerged in water.

As PhD scholars at the 'Institute of Eminence', we were deeply shocked and found it hard to believe that the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, was not prepared for a couple of hours of rain.

We were shocked and found it hard to believe IIT Delhi was unprepared for a few hours of rain.

Lab equipment submerged in water.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

At least 101 PhD scholars were affected by the incident. We expect the institute to provide us with extended time to complete our research and the fellowship stipend.

This raises questions not only at the institute's administration and management but also at the Ministry of Education. How can an IIT be architecturally incompetent at handling rainwater? How can an institute that creates problem-solvers and innovators not have a solution to the problem of waterlogging?
We were shocked and found it hard to believe IIT Delhi was unprepared for a few hours of rain.

The damaged equipment of the lab.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

Not only was the incident unfortunate, but the aftermath was equally distressing. The institute is not properly handling the lab's biomedical waste. Rather than calling for an expert team to clear the waste, the administration chose to risk the lives of untrained sanitation workers to clear the mess.

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We were shocked and found it hard to believe IIT Delhi was unprepared for a few hours of rain.

Biomedical waste stacked outside the lab building.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

We demand the administration fumigate the department, provide PPE kits to the students and workers, and arrange full-body check-ups for students, workers, faculty, and staff exposed to the biohazard.  

We were shocked and found it hard to believe IIT Delhi was unprepared for a few hours of rain.

A sanitation worker cleaning the lab.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

The administration should seal off the basement area as it is unsafe to use due to the loss of structural integrity and biohazards. We should be moved to a new building as soon as possible, and the estimated timeline for the equipment procurement should be communicated to us.

The institute should establish a disaster contingency fund for the personal losses of students and fellowship extension along with extended insurance coverage for psychological help.

We are hopeful that the administration will provide a prompt solution, enabling us to resume our work without further delay.

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(The Quint has reached out to the director of Indian Institute of Technology Delhi over the issues raised by the Ph.D. scholars at the Institute. Thier response is awaited. Story would be updated once a response is received.)

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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