Broken windows, filthy toilets, cramped rooms, cobwebs on dusty corridors. A movie set? Sadly no. This is the men’s hostel on Bangalore University’s Jnana Bharathi campus. Despite several visits by officials and media reports highlighting their dismal condition, the hostels, library, health centre and sports facilities on the campus continue to remain in a bad shape.
Explaining some of the problems in the men’s hostel, an occupant said that the rooms were unhygienic and toilets inadequate while bedbugs kept them company. As for the hostel food, a civil engineering student said: “It is difficult to even bring it to your mouth.”
Lack of streetlights makes it difficult for students to get out of the hostel after dusk as the entire area is covered with dense tree cover.
The condition of the women’s hostel is no better. Around 500 students are crammed into space meant for half the number. A postgraduate student said: “Several students who are not from the university camp for many days inside the hostel. There is nobody to keep a check on this.” She added that there were many students who are forced to sleep on the floor due to shortage of beds.
According to B.C. Mylarappa, Registrar (Administration), Rs. 14 crore is spent annually on the hostels, of which Rs. 12 crore goes towards the mess bill and Rs. 2 crore for salaries and maintenance.
When The Hindu visited the healthcare centre, there was no doctor or nurse present. A worker at the centre admitted that there is only one doctor to attend to patients at the university. A student said: “I have come here several times but have never seen a doctor. For every medical ailment, the staff at the centre give us the same set of medicines.”
The worker added: “We still use outdated instruments to conduct basic medical tests. We have written several times to the higher authorities asking them to provide us some facilities, but have got no response.”
Although the library looks well maintained, a political science student there said that it is of little use to him. “The books are very old and in bad condition. The grand promises made in the prospectus about the list of books and magazines are not available,” he said
Despite boasting a University College of Physical Education, a college official said: “The grounds are not maintained and the swimming pool is under repair for several years now. The standard of the sports facilities is deteriorating every year.” The few sports facilities available are used by those pursuing courses in physical education. The official pointed out that only Rs. 3 lakh has been allotted for sports activities for over 2,000 other postgraduate students as opposed to Rs. 6 lakh for the College of Physical Education.
Lack of maintenance of the existing infrastructure is also an indicator of the indifference to upcoming ones. There are eight unfinished buildings on the Jnana Bharathi campus alone, including those meant to house the visual arts centre and applied genetics. Prof. Mylarappa said: “We need more than Rs. 15 crore to complete these projects as construction costs are escalating.”