Six years on, buildings for half of new polytechnics incomplete

Six years on, buildings for half of new polytechnics incomplete
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Irshad Khan

Srinagar: Established six years ago, authorities in J&K are yet to complete construction on half of the 18 new polytechnic colleges in the state.
The 18 colleges were announced by the government in the year 2012 in addition to the already six such colleges in the state.
Despite the state government in 2013 claiming that that an amount of Rs 135 crore had been released for the construction of the new polytechnics in the state, insiders from the Technical Education Department told Kashmir Reader that nine polytechnic colleges across the state were still incomplete.
The insiders said that in Kashmir region, the polytechnic colleges of Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla and Shopian were incomplete as on date.
In Jammu region, construction on five polytechnic colleges- Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban and Udhampur was yet to be completed as per insiders.
While the colleges were announced six years ago, sources citing unavailability of land for the colleges, said that construction of five of the colleges- Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar, Udhampur and Shopian was undertaken “only last year”.
In absence of buildings of their own, sources said the colleges were facing difficulties in carrying out the academic work
“There is a huge dearth of space at these colleges. Being professional colleges, the institutions need to operate spacious laboratories for the practical work of the students there, but in absence of an adequate space, the colleges have been forced to dump the equipment,” a college principal, wishing not to be named, said.
“The principals of the polytechnic colleges without buildings are equally responsible as they have been unable to mount pressure on the authorities to complete the constructions,” added the principal.
In addition to the institutions without buildings of their own, another college principal said that due to the dearth of faculty, some of the new polytechnic colleges were running courses only in two out of the three approved engineering branches.
“After the colleges were set up in 2012, the government had promised that the second phase of post creation would be done the following year, but that did not happen,” the principal complained.
Director Technical Education, Shabnum Shah Kamili hoped that all the incomplete polytechnic colleges “would be in place by 2020”.
“We have spent 95 percent of the funds released for the colleges so far. We would get funds from the government of India besides the state share. It is a continuous process,” Kamili added.
While polytechnic college Baramulla as per Kamili, “would be handed over to us this year”, work on the colleges in Shopian, Bandipora and Kupwara had been undertaken by the executing agency.
“There was a land issue with polytechnic college Poonch, which is being sorted at the Chief Secretary’s level,” she added.
The J&K Projects Construction Company (JKPCC) and Roads and Buildings (R&B) are the executing agencies for the polytechnic colleges.