Many employees of Government Azizul Haque College in Bogura are living at a hall constructed in 2018 for female students, worsening the already crippling housing crisis at the college.
More than 30 thousand students are studying at the college but housing facility for the students is scarce.
There are a total of six student halls at the college. Out of them, Begum Rokeya Hall for female students and Fakhruddin Ahmed Hall for Higher Secondary School students are open for students.
The three halls for male students, Akter Ali Moon Hall, Shaheed Titumir Hall and Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq Hall, have been closed for 13 years due to clashes between Chhatra League and Chhatra Shibir.
There are only 250 seats available for students at the Begum Rokeya Hall, but currently, around 350 students are living there. The majority of the students live in rented houses in adjacent areas.
In 2015, under an initiative to improve the standard of education at postgraduate colleges, Tk 43.7 million was allotted for the construction of a 100-seat dormitory for female students at the Azizul Haque College.
The construction ended in 2018. But then, another Tk 10.1 million was allotted to add a fifth floor in the hall.
The fifth floor was constructed by June of that same year. Then, to complete ancillary works like building a wall across the halls parameters, Tk 2.9 million was allotted.
The ancillary work concluded in October 2018. In 2020, another Tk 1.1 million was allocated to build a power substation.
A total of Tk 5.78 million has been allotted for the construction, of which Tk 5.4 million have been spent. But the female students still haven’t been allocated seats in the dormitory.
The college’s principal Md Shahjahan Ali said, although the construction work has been completed, they haven’t been able to house students in the hall as utensils and other kitchenware haven’t been supplied in the dining room.
But the education engineering department’s executive engineer Altaf Hossain disagreed with the principal. He said the construction work is complete. The college administration could’ve housed students if they wanted to.
The correspondent inspected the hall on Wednesday at noon and saw a number of college officials living at the hall with their families.
The muezzin of the college mosque Jahidul Islam and his family members were the newest inhabitants of the hall. He said, “I used to stay with my family at the Titumir Hall. Today (Wednesday), I have shifted to this hall.”
Halls shut for 13 years
The three halls for male students have been shut since 20 December 2009, following clashes between Chhatra League and Chhatra Shibir.
The Akter Ali Moon, Shaheed Titumir and Sher-e-Bangla Halls have the capacity to house 96, 80 and 40 students respectively.
Due to being abandoned for a long time, the doors, windows, electric ware, water lines, etc, have already been stolen.
An initiative has been taken to construct two new halls in Sher-e-Bangla Hall. Between 2016-2019, nearly Tk 10 million has been allotted to renovate the Akter Ali Moon and Shaheed Titumir halls.
The renovation work at the Akter Ali Hall ended in 2016 and at Titumir Hall it ended in December last year. Still, the halls have not been reopened.
In one of the rooms on the ground floor of the Titumir Hall, there is a goat farm. In the adjacent room, college electrician Azharul Islam is living with his family.
When asked why the halls haven’t been reopened, the college principal said, although the renovation work is completed, the halls are yet to be furnished and that’s why these have remained closed.