Northeast India’s first state of the art prison near Agartala is all set for inauguration on October 2 – birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. This would mark the closure of 139 years old central jail in Agartala.

As final touches are being given to the new installation which is coming up in a 33 acre land at Ghaniamara in Bishalgarh sub division, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Minister of Prisons Manindra Reang reviewed its work at a high level meeting. “95 percent work has been done and rest would complete within a short time”, Secretary of Prisons Samarjit Bhowmik said after the review meeting.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar instructed the concerned departments to get the prison ready at their earliest to ensure planned shifting of inmates and jail administration. Mr Sarkar would visit the new central jail at a suitable time to oversee the facilities.

State officials said the jail premise at Bishalgarh is biggest and modern in northeast India. This has the capacity to house 975 convicts and under trials. The jail has a separate compound for female prisoners.

“All facilities like kitchen, big dining hall, play ground, sentry barrack, administrative building, vocational training centre, hospital, play ground, watch towers, water pump and staff quarters are available in the new jail”, an official said.

The jail also has a separate cell for detainees granted division by the courts. However new jail does not have gallows and there is none in death row in Tripura now.

Existing central jail was built by Tripura’s erstwhile king in 1874 to accommodate mere 355 inmates. It saw slight expansion over the years, but felt need for a new premise due to overcrowding.

The state government sets October 2 for opening of the new jail as its marks Gandhi Jayanti – which is also observed as international day of non-violence.