Bhubaneswar: A fully furnished Centre for Language Studies building on Utkal University campus here has become a paradise for anti-socials, thanks to the inordinate delay by the authorities in making it functional.
According to sources, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had inaugurated the Centre for Language Studies on the varsity campus in April 2017. However, the department is yet to be shifted to the new facility from the old one, sources added.
What’s disconcerting is lack of maintenance and security of the new building which has resulted in turning the massive infrastructure into a hub of illegal drugs. The area has also become unsafe for the university students, as many of them and locals indulge in illegal activities like consumption of alcohol and drugs.
According to sources, the Language Studies building area is one of the most crime-prone places on the campus. That can be seen and understood from the number of broken alcohol bottles strewn around the area right from the entrance of the building.
Students from the Department of Women’s Studies, which is next to this building, feel unsafe to pass alongside the building.
Several complaints to the university authorities have yielded no results as the university has failed to post a security guard outside this haunted building, said a student of Women’s Studies Department on condition of anonymity.
As far as the building is concerned, the entrance lock and the glass windows have been broken; electricity runs all the time and water overflows 24X7. It has also been noticed that many students sneak into the building at night to sit on the terrace which, of course, is a risky affair.
When contacted, Utkal University Vice Chancellor SM Patnaik told Orissa POST that the building which has remained shut for the last 20 months would be operational from January 2019.
He further said, “The illegal activities happening on the campus have come to my notice. We are facing a shortage of security guards because of the ongoing Hockey World Cup. We have already written to the police and strict action will be taken against those who are caught doing illegal acts on the campus. We have alerted the department heads to look for the students involved in such activities.”
Meanwhile, the explanation given by the VC on shortage of security personnel has to be taken with a pinch of salt as the Men’s Hockey World Cup started just 13 days ago.