GCET’s location outmost, ill-planner govt refuses to make amends

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Sorv Choudhary

Having seemingly become habitual of treating even professional colleges with contempt, Jammu and Kashmir government has shifted Government College for Engineering and Technology (GCET) Jammu to an isolated place completely disconnected from the world outside.

Students who are studying in the college feel as if they have been shifted to a jail, 20 kilometres away from Jammu city with no facility around. What to talk of major requirements of engineering students, even those facilities which could be easily termed minimal are not available in and around the campus. Essential commodity shops are located several kilometres away from the college.

There is no bank in and around the campus. Students face extreme difficulty in depositing fee or withdrawing money or opening a bank account. Being a completely rural area, no bank has extended ATM facility. Even for withdrawing petty amounts, students are forced to either take Janipur route or the road towards Akhnoor or the one connecting Muthi with Chak Bhalwal via Akhnoor.

This takes around an hour or more since the road transport is minimal in this area with few matadors plying around. Students with personnel convenience too face lot of problems in reaching college on time. Whichever route he/she takes, a newcomer finds it extremely difficult to reach GCET. Road towards GCET from Janipur via Bantalab has lot of rough patches.

Driving is extremely risky and one is forced to question wisdom of those at the helm of affairs in shifting the college to an under-construction building in a remote area with no facility in and around the campus. There is no posts office either within the campus or outside. What makes this painful is that even the state government is not interested in taking up the issue of post-office with concerned officials.

Public telephone booth is something which is yet to arrive in this remote area of Chak Bhalwal, around 28 kilometres from Jammu city if one is travelling via Janipur-Bantalab area. There is no proper mobile and internet connectivity. In times when the campuses across the country have open wifi facility, insiders said that students are fined Rs.500 if they are found using internet in the college.

They are told to rely more in books and less on the changes and new innovations in the field of engineering across the country. There is no market area where the students could go for shopping. For purchasing books and other material, students have to travel all the way from Chak Bhalwal to Jammu city. Building of the main library of GCET is under-construction.

Libraries are functioning in the classrooms and in the rooms which had been reserved for laboratories of the college with no air-conditioning facility. Though the state government claims of having air-conditioned classrooms, the fact remains that only two classrooms are air-conditioned. Power crisis is serious in the college. Students are forced to bear heat and humidity since power remains off for most part of the day.

Hostel of GCET is functional but the rooms which have been allotted to the students have no cooler facility. They have to remain content with fans despite rising temperatures.  College is yet to have a fully functional dispensary. The one in the college remains shut for most part of the day since it is facing serious shortage of staff. The college celebrates no festival. The college does talk of playground for the students but the same is non-existent.

Grass has grown wild and college is seemingly not interested in engaging a gardener for either levelling or cutting this grass. College does not have a back-up facility. Once the light goes off, the functioning of college comes to a standstill. The college does have lot of other shortcomings and with government disinterested in addressing these shortfalls, the same are likely to multiply in the days to come.

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