Eight years on, work on 100 college buildings fails to culminate
Srinagar: Signifying the poor performance of the higher education department, none of the college 100 odd college buildings have been completed in the year 2018. With the failure of authorities to expedite the construction of the college buildings, the students continue to take classes from make-shift arrangements.
Notably, there are at least 100 degree colleges (including grant in aid colleges) in the state – 53 in Kashmir and 47 in Jammu, out of which only 77 have permanent accommodation facilities.
Moreover, J&K government has approved new 40 degree colleges to be set up in various areas of the state. Out of these colleges government has claimed to make 26 colleges operational from next year.
Among the existing colleges, 23 government degree colleges – nine in Kashmir and 14 in Jammu region are without buildings. The work on these colleges has been going on since the past eight years now.
An official in the department said the government had decided to complete construction of some buildings and shift the students to these permanent campuses.
“But not a single building was completed in 2018 exposing the sluggishness of the department to make colleges functional in permanent campuses,” he said.
As per official figures, around 41 colleges were sanctioned in past more than nine years under various centrally sponsored schemes and state plans.
“But the construction work is yet to be completed on 23 colleges,” the official said.
These colleges are functioning from makeshift arrangements in higher secondary schools and some middle schools.
“Some colleges are operating from rented buildings,” the official added.
Pertinently, the government of India in 2008 approved ten colleges for the state under Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan (PMRP) but buildings for most of these colleges are yet to be completed.
In 2011, government of India approved 11 model colleges under the centrally sponsored scheme ‘Establishment of Model Degree Colleges in Educationally Backward Districts’.
Colleges approved under this scheme include Women College Kupwara which is presently operating from a government middle school.
Commissioner Secretary Higher Education Department (HeD), Sarita Chauhan when contacted said the department has taken up the matter with the executing agencies to expedite the construction work and handover buildings of the colleges to the department.
“We are at it. Work on some college buildings is in final stage and will be handed over to college authorities in 2019,” she said.