Belying tall claims of the government vis-a-vis ensuring strengthening of education sector including infrastructure, hundreds of students of Government Degree College in Mandi tehsil of Poonch have been suffering for the past three years due to paucity of space.
Even three after its sanctioning, the temporary college complex comprises only three class rooms and one office room. The Government Degree College in PoonchMandi was sanctioned three years ago in order to cater to the needs of local students for higher education.
After the announcement for setting up of a government degree college in the area, the students had taken a sigh of relief as earlier they would go to Poonch to get higher education. Many students belonging to poor strata were not even able to go to Poonch to get college level education.
Locals said that soon after the announcement of degree college in Manditahsil, the administration identified an old building of Rural Development Department comprising three rooms and one office. It was declared as temporary campus of college where class-work was also started.
Accusing government machinery of having failed to ensure construction of a permanent college building even after the lapse of three years, locals said that since its sanctioning, the degree college was being run from this temporary campus. Consequently, hundreds of students studying in the institution are suffering.
The locals demanded immediate construction of a spacious college building to meet the requirement of the students who are forced to study like a pack of sardines in this higher education institution in this far-flung area in Poonch district.
"During our childhood, in primary school there was shortage of adequate space and we used to study in congested rooms. Due to paucity of space, the teachers used to run multiple classes from a single class room," Khalil Ahmed a college student said adding, "Now at college level, we're faced with similar problem of shortage of space."
Principal of college Prof Aurangzeb told Greater Kashmir said that land for college building stood identified in Azmabad and Rajpura villages of Mandi.
"Higher officers have also inspected both these locations. We are in need of some more land and are hopeful that soon the matter will be resolved and work for construction of college building will start at one of the identified locations," Prof Aurangzeb said.