Buildings of Jorhat Engineering College (Letter to the Editor,The Assam Tribune.31.12.2007)

However, the fact that the attention of the State Government has now been drawn to the real condition of the buildings has been truly encouraging at this stage. The approval of an amount of Rs. 10 crores in the current budget of the State Government for the all round development of the college is highly appreciable. The recent visit of the State Education Minister to the college has clearly revealed the fact that the amount so approved could not be released yet on account of the non-submission of appropriate schemes for the utilization of the same. It is truly in this context that a basic question may be raised in respect of the maintenance of the buildings of a purely Government college like Jorhat Engineering College. The question is - who is responsible for maintaining the buildings? Is it the State Public Works Department (Buildings) or the College Authority (i.e. the Principal)?

As per the normal practice, the responsibility of maintaining the government buildings, lies with the State PWD, (Buildings). Therefore, the submission of schemes by the Principal of the college will result in a confusng state of affairs. The Education Minister during his recent visit to the college has directed the Principal (as reported in the media) to submit schemes. As per the normal practice, this direction should have been given to the State PWD (Buildings) for submission of schemes to repair/renovate the buildings which are vulnerable to natural calamities including the problems of roof leakages. In fact, the PWD should have submitted appropriate schemes (as per the normal practice) long back for the proper maintenance of the buildings of the college. The situation of non-availability of schemes even at this stage has been truly disappointing. In case the normal practice is given up and the college authority is made responsible for the maintenance of the buildings, then the Principal of the College does require a technical Cell like the ones the Vice Chancellors or the Directors have in the Universities or IITs. A technical unit of the standard of a sub-division of the State PWD is required to handle a project of Rs. 10 crores, apart from maintaining the whole campus of the college in an appreciable standard. However, in case a part of this amount has been earmarked for the development of laboratories or library, the scheme thereto will have to be submitted to the Government by the Principal of the college.

An Association of the alumni of Jorhat Engineering College has been recently formed. This Association has also been committed to look into all aspects relating to maintenance and development of JEC Campus. The members, have adequate experiences and knowledge to critically analyse the factors responsible for making JEC campus a glorified one in all respects. The Association now looks forward to extend its helping hand to the State Government in improving the present condition of the college. – Yours etc. DR H K BARUA, Jorhat.

(The Assam Tribune.31.12.2007)