Old B Barooah College building gutted

Though the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, it is suspected that the fire broke out from an electric short circuit in a part of the main administrative building at around 6.40 pm. The fire spread quickly and engulfed the entire building before the arrival of fire tenders, who had to fight for hours to bring the fire under control.

According to eyewitnesses, the classrooms, laboratories of the Physics and Chemistry Departments and the offices of Principal and Administrative offices were completely gutted in the fire. However, fortunately, the biology department laboratories were saved as those were recently shifted to the newly constructed RCC building, which was not affected. The college library with old and valuable books and journals, could also be saved.

The fire caused a hue and cry in the area with thousands of people including students and well wishers of the college rushing to the college premises, but there was very little that they could do to save the college building. The power connections to the entire area were snapped, which added to the chaos and confusion. The administration blocked the B Barooah road for traffic to ensure free movement of the fire tenders but people of the locality alleged that timely arrival of the fire tenders could have saved most parts of the building. The hostels near the building were fortunately not affected by the fire as fire brigade personnel managed to control the fire before it could spread to the area. Several Ministers including Gautam Roy and Rockybul Hussain also rushed to the college to take stock of the situation. Several former students and teachers broke into tears after witnessing the devastation caused by the fire.

One of the prominent institutions of higher education in the State, B Barooah college was established in 1943 with Bharat Ratna Gopinath Bordoloi as its honorary founder principal and president of its governing body, said Dr Promode Chandra Bhattarcharyya, a former principal of the college.

The classes of the college were initially held between five and nine pm ,at the premises of the Kamrup Academi High School and it imparted lesions in intermediate arts subjects and two commerce subjects. There were 21 students in its first batch, Dr Bhattacharyya being one of them. Former Editor of The Assam Tribune Satis Chandra Kakati , then a teacher with the Kamrup Academi High School, served the college as a part time library and office in charge. Till 1962, the classes of the college continued to be held at the School premises.

The college was shifted to its present site in 1963. The plot of the college comprises 10 bigha of land allotted by the State Government and one bigha and one katha and nine lessa of land bought by the college authorities from private owners. In 1963, the college operated only with morning classes and now it is a full-fledged college with a lot of contribution in the field of higher education. The college celebrated its diamond jubilee last year.

- The Assam Tribune