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Nitish falters on campus promise

- Colleges prepare for celebration & cabinet election

Five days before the sesquicentenary celebrations of Patna College, chief minister Nitish Kumar’s year-old promises are still stuck in a limbo.

Nitish, on January 9 last year, had announced the construction of a Shatabdi Bhavan at Patna College to run the vocational courses from a single platform. A year on, work has not yet started and the officials concerned are unaware of the chief minister’s announcement.

Once known as “Oxford of the East”, Patna College will celebrate 150 years of its inception on January 9 — Wednesday.

Principal Rash Bihari Singh said: “Yes, I know that the chief minister last year announced the college would have a Shatabdi Bhavan. I tried to get information on the project from officials of both the education department and the Bihar State Educational Infrastructure Development Corporation, but the officials pleaded ignorance about any such plan initiated by the education department.”

Last year Nitish had also announced the decision to prepare a roadmap for the college’s development and improve the infrastructure, specifically of the hostels. Late 2012, the corporation, an undertaking of the education department, sanctioned funds for the renovation of the college’s hostels — Minto, Jackson. Iqbal and New — but the work has not yet started.

Principal Singh said: “Few months back, engineers from the corporation visited the college campus to prepare the detailed project report for the repair and renovation of the hostels. The corporation has sanctioned Rs 1.65 crore for the renovation of the hostels.”

While Rs 65 lakh has been sanctioned for the repair and renovation of Iqbal and New hostels, Rs 1 crore has been sanctioned for Minto and Jackson hostels.

Students, however, mourned the deterioration of the college on infrastructure and academic fronts. Third-year bachelor of business administration student Abhilash Kumar Singh said: “In the last few years, the college has started several vocational courses but majority of them suffer from lack of infrastructure. There are no lab facility, specific rooms for the departments and placement cell for students.”

Planning a grand celebration on Wednesday, the principal said the chancellor-cum-Governor, Devanand Konwar, is likely to be the chief guest. “The main function will be held on the college premises on January 9 where the governor will be the chief guest,” said Singh.

The college will also announce the revival of the institution’s research journal on Wednesday. Started in 1944, it was stopped 25 years ago because of lack of interest among the administration. Prizes and certificates will be distributed to students who participated and won quiz, debate and other events held round the year.