Expansion of government college an eyewash?

Only 55 cents available against the required 3 acres of land, says official

With the Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar performing the ground breaking ceremony for the expansion work of Balmatta Government First Grade College (on March 18 at Mangala Statdium), the staff and 900 plus students of the college are hoping that their long pending demand for class rooms may be realised soon.

In fact, it was the third time that the ground breaking ceremony has been initiated for the expansion of college in the last 7 years. The then CM H D Kumaraswamy and B S Yeddyurappa too have the credit of performing the ground breaking ceremony, but the project did not take shape later for various reasons.

The interesting aspect of the project was that the College staff were not aware of the project till the day (March 18)!

The plan

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Collegiate Education Department (Mangalore) Joint Director Devanand Gaonkar said that as per the plan, the BEO office which is in the College premises in Jyothi will be shifted to Vikasa Soudha or to rural BEO office which would allow expansion of the college. If the BEO office is shifted, about 55 cents of land will be available to construct a new building. Renowned businessman Dr P Dayananda Pai has offered Rs 2.30 crore for the new building, he said. 

The government has assured of releasing around Rs 2.30 crore for the purpose once the land gets transferred to the name of college education department. As the poll code of conduct has come into force soon after the initiation of the project, it may take some more time, before any work is taken up, it is said.

It may be noted here that the college which offers BA, BCA, BSc (from 2012), BCom (2 batches) needs 36 class rooms, but has only 11 classrooms including a hall. Among the available classrooms, 3 class rooms belonging to D.Ed section are being used temporarily. At present, classes are conducted in shifts.

As there is no proper playground, sports activities are being organised at St Agnes College ground.

To provide all basic facilities to the students, the college needs at least 3 acres of land, whereas the available land is only 55 cents.

On the other hand, to a query on the possibility of shifting the college, College Principal Dr U Tara Rao said that the proposal of shifting the college to Vamanjoor has been cancelled as it is far from the city. Another plan of starting the college near Shaktinagar has also been cancelled for the same reason. “As the college is in the heart of the city, students (most of them belong to middle class) are benefitted. So, we won’t prefer shifting,” she added.

Noise pollution

The biggest problem to the students and staff is noise pollution. The repeated pleas to the authorities concerned to take steps to prevent noise pollution has fallen on deaf ears. “Neither teachers nor students can concentrate on studies. Students find it difficult to practice for cultural programmes too, which in turn, affects the academic results as well,” the College Principal said.  

In response to the College pleas, Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Mallikarjun has assured that Road Safety Committee meeting will be called soon to discuss the issue. The Deputy Commissioner and the police commissioner will participate in the meeting. But the election code of conduct may delay the process, he told Deccan Herald.

Staff shortage

The college has 15 permanent lecturers and 43 guest lecturers on rolls.

As the number of guest lecturers has been gradually decreasing, the work load has been increased. The college is also in need of clerks, as the appointed non-teaching staff are sent on deputation. The officials concerned are made to visit the place and the problem was highlighted through media, but is of no use, the principal said. 

The government college which has impressive record in academics and extra curricular activities needs attention of the authorities concerned, said the principal and added that the development should not be done at the cost of students.

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